Anne Archbold Hall was built in 1931-32 as the Nurses’ Residence of the Gallinger Municipal Hospital (later, Gallinger Memorial and ultimately D.C. General Hospital), which was a major teaching institution for the instruction of nurses.
As home of the Capital City School of Nursing, it is also a testimony to the struggle for professional recognition for nurses within the medical world. Begun in 1878 as the Washington Training School for Nurses, this was one of the nation’s first nursing schools, following those established in 1873 in connection with hospitals in New York, New Haven, and Boston.
These nursing schools of the “Nightingale Era” helped transform nursing from a service largely of religious orders to a medical profession. The school was reorganized as Capital City in 1904, but struggled for years with inadequate facilities and funding. Archbold Hall serves as a visible reminder of the efforts within the community to provide medical services to the poor from the time when such services were regarded as charities to the time of their incorporation within the DC Health Department.
Anne Archbold Hall is an impressive example of Neoclassical architecture, designed as a five block, U-shaped brick and limestone building, consisting of two wings and a central pavilion connected by hyphens. It originally accommodated 160 students and a teaching unit with lecture rooms, laboratories, offices, and a large auditorium. The design of Archbold Hall stylistically echoes the Classical Revival standard set forth by the Commission of Fine Arts in the early decades of the twentieth century and can probably be attributed to Albert L. Harris, the city’s Municipal Architect.
Two annexes, of similar materials and design to the original building were added—one in 1939 extending to the east, and the other in 1945 extending to the north. The building was named in 1945 for Mrs. Anne Archbold, a member of the city’s Board of Charities and an active advocate for the facility.
DC designation: July 27, 2006