The Hebrew Home for the Aged was constructed in 1925 to provide social support for destitute Jews, many of whom were immigrants who neither spoke nor understood English. The Hebrew Home, located in what was at the time considered the northern fringe of Washington, DC, was built to serve Washington’s growing Jewish community, particularly in the nearby Columbia Heights, Petworth, and Park View neighborhoods.
In 1922, the board of directors of the Washington Hebrew Home for the Aged announced their intentions to move the Home from the Shaw neighborhood to their newly purchased site on Spring Road between 10th and 13th Streets, NW, which would include both a residential facility and a hospital. Construction commenced in June 1924 to the designs of noted architect Appleton P. Clark, Jr., who planned the building to be erected in phases. The building was to have a central synagogue flanked by symmetrical residential and hospital wings. However, only the westernmost portion of Clark’s design was realized when the Home opened in 1925 with 35 beds for residents.
The building was subsequently expanded between 1951 and 1953 to the designs of Washington architect William St. Cyr Barrington. In 1940, the Jewish Social Service Agency was constructed to the west of the Hebrew Home to the designs of Washington architect Julius Wenig. The Hebrew Home for the Age moved to a new site in 1968, at which point the building was sold to the DC government, who used it as a mental health facility for years before the building fell vacant. Currently, the city is considering a repurposing of the structure.
DC Inventory: May 22, 2014
National Register: July 25, 2014