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Columbia Hospital for Women

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1916, Nathan C. Wyeth. 24th and L streets NW

Although much altered over the years, the Columbia Hospital for Women is still one of the few hospital buildings in the District of Columbia that date from the early twentieth century. The building is a result of a logical organization of uses rather than a concern for style, which is generally Italianate.

Ventilation towers and a roof garden add interest to the tapestry brick, limestone-trimmed exterior. Oriented to the south on the highest point of its site, the hospital is organized around a main block with Y-shaped wings extending at each end to allow exterior windows for each room and corridor. Originally, the east wing was devoted to obstetrical service and the west to gynecological. The assignment of spaces reflects the racial and economic strictures of the times: the nonpaying patients occupied the first two floors, the first for blacks and the second for whites. The third floor housed private patients, presumably only white. Operating and delivery rooms were located on the fourth story, kitchens and dining rooms on the fifth.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Columbia Hospital for Women", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 230-230.

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