Posted tagged ‘16th Street Heights’

Brief History of 1125 Spring Road — old Hebrew Home for the Aged

March 3, 2011

The Hebrew Home for the Aged in March 1967 (from Historical Society of Washington, D.C. collection)

The building located at 1125 Spring Road was originally built for the Hebrew Home for the Aged, which occupied the building from 1925 to 1969.  Described as being in a “pure American style,” it was designed by local architect Harry A. Brandt and cost $27,000 to build. Its exterior combined maroon brick with buff limestone trim, including Stars of David that remain today.

The original structure was designed as two separate structures — the home and hospital — joined by enclosed passageways and considered a model of its kind containing 35 rooms for the aged.

The need for such a home predates 1914, when a group of men banded together and established a home for the aged in a rented building at 415 M Street, NW. A year later the home was purchased. The need for additional space was quickly felt, and became so pressing by 1921 that the issue was placed before the Jewish community of Washington, which helped raise funds and acquire the land on Spring Road.

Over the ensuing years, the Spring Road facility gradually became overcrowded, with residents sleeping in hallways and on porches, and in 1953, a new $1 Million addition increased capacity to 165. Yet, this too proved to be inadequate. In 1964, a survey indicated a need for a new facility that could provide complete medical and nursing care.

Challenged by the increasing needs of the growing suburban Jewish community, community leaders planned a new suburban campus for the major Jewish communal organizations. In 1969, the renamed Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and Jewish Social Service Agency, along with the Jewish Community Center, moved to the new complex on Montrose Road in Rockville.

The property at 1125 Spring Road was sold to the District of Columbia in advance of the Home’s move in December 1968 for $13 Million. While it served as a center for medical services for the homeless after it transfer to the District for many years, today the building is empty. It is the desire of many in the surrounding community that the property be renovated and returned to serving the housing and health care needs of the area’s elder community.

Gathering at the dedication of the Hebrew Home for the Aged on November 29, 1925

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Items of Interest from the ANC 4C Meeting — 3/9/10

March 10, 2010

Of the many items on the ANC 4C agenda last night, two struck me as being of interest to the broader community.

The first was the community planting project planned for Sherman Circle. What I think is particularly interesting about this project is the goal to restore the park to its original design. The next meeting for this initiative is March 16th.

The second item of interest was the project to rebuild the Raymond Recreation Center. Architects from the firm OPX Architects were on hand to show preliminary site plans and describe where the project is in development.

The Raymond Rec Center is located north of the Raymond school and bounded by 10th Street to the west, Quincy to the north, and 9th Street to the east. The plan is to build a new structure that is an addition to the school and can be used by the school during its hours of operation. The structure would also likely include a gymnasium for both school and public use.

The main entrance to the rec center would be on the 10th street side, and it would be a multi-level building to address the terrain and handicap accessibility issues. Outside of the functions of the structure, the architects did not present any plans on the appearance of the building.

The park portion of the rec center is currently scheduled to include basketball and tennis courts and be accessible to the public after school hours and on weekend. The estimated time line for the project is for the groundbreaking to commence around October 2010 with completion being around November 2011.

It will be interesting to see how a newly renovated Raymond Rec Center impacts the nearby Park View Rec Center’s activities.

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