St. Elizabeths West Campus, Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

For General Services Administration (GSA), National Capital Region

Heritage Landscapes provided preservation planning for the National Historic Landmark property of St. Elizabeths Hospital West Campus, a historically significant 165-acre campus that documents the evolution of mental health treatment supported by a therapeutic landscape from 1852 to the 1940s. Heritage Landscapes completed a series of reports, worked with GSA to address potential projects impacts through contributing features identification, articulated landscape preservation guidance, and presented and discussed our work with consulting parties for Section 106 compliance.  Over seven years the work included

  • Prepare Cultural Landscape Assessment documenting the existing campus landscape
  • Research site history and recommend landscape treatment in the Cultural Landscape Report  
  • Identify and describe character of landscape zones from sequential eras
  • Prepare Historic American Landscape Survey history, existing landscape, drawings
  • Itemize all historic landscape features for interdisciplinary teams to integrate in each project
  • Prepare landscape preservation plan integrating a secure perimeter
  • Prepare Landscape Management Plan
  • Collaborate on Landscape Implementation Plan
  • Present findings and recommendations for consulting parties approval

Working with GSA, the Department of Homeland Security and the interdisciplinary team, Heritage Landscapes provided sufficient detail to preserve the West Campus landscape, while adaptation for a vibrant campus for the US Department of Homeland Security proceeded.


Landscape Preservation Plan (LPP), 2010; Landscape Management Plan (LMP), 2010; Landscape Integration Plan (LIP), 2010; St Elizabeths Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS), 2009; Cultural Landscape Report (CLR), 2007-2009; Cultural Landscape Assessment Plan (CLA), 2005


Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners lead for CLR and LMP; collaboration with Andropogon Associates (LIP); Robinson & Associates, Historians (CLR); Mills +Schnoering Architects lead (CLA).


The elaboration of the grounds with new paths, additional shade trees plantings, expansion of the greenhouse, and placement of planting beds indicates appreciation and support of the evolving therapeutic landscape. CLR The recommendations… suggest a preservation approach that accommodates new uses while respecting the unique and important landscape of this former asylum. CLR