The development team for The Parks at Walter Reed has embarked on an effort to engage the community and uncover historical facts, references, and stories from the neighborhoods surrounding the historic Walter Reed Military Hospital in upper Ward 4, Washington, DC. With several new buildings already completed, and existing buildings repurposed, the transformation of this site from a former Army hospital to a vibrant new mixed-use development is well under way. This history-gathering effort is intended to inform future aspects of the development and highlight opportunities to honor the history of Walter Reed as an institution and community.
In September 2021, The Parks at Walter Reed Development engaged the DC History Center, Prologue DC, and Walnut Street Creative to lead community engagement sessions, conduct research and interviews, and develop recommendations for interpretive interventions to share the story of Walter Reed. More than 115 people answered a survey, submitted historical information, attended community meetings, or told their stories on video, interviewed by historian Mara Cherkasky. Others helped to spread the word, including Councilmember Janeese Lewis George and her staff, ANC Commissioner Stephen Whatley, Col. John Pierce at The Walter Reed Society, the Shepherd Park Citizens Association, and John Kelly at The Washington Post. Special thanks to the staff at the DC History Center and Tom Pipkin of Pipkin Creative Communications. This project would be not be possible without the support of all these people, and many more.
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