Photos of Walter Reed 3 years after it closed

Over Veteran’s Day I got a chance to visit the old Walter Reed…. The week we closed, I really wanted to walk around to all my favorite places and see them one last time, but we were so busy I didn’t get a chance to.  I was thankful to see it again three years later.  How spooky it was to be there without anyone around.  The power was out in all of the buildings, except the Chapel.  So the photos are dark…(and I’m not a photographer).

Building 11 - this was once the dormitory for the Army's first Nursing School.

Building 11, Delano Hall, this was once the dormitory for the Army’s first Nursing School which graduated 400 Army nurses in its first graduating class. The years I was at Walter Reed, it was an administrative building known for anxiety provoking events like: finger printing, security clearances, CAC cards and replacement ID’s. (I had to go there a lot).

one of many old ballrooms.  This one in building 11.

one of many old ballrooms. This one in Building 11.

view from the barracks

view from the barracks

Building Two, Heaton Pavilion (named after Eisenhower's surgeon).  The last active hospital.

Building Two, Heaton Pavilion (named after Eisenhower’s surgeon). The last active hospital.

the veranda in front of Building 2.  No one's running on it anymore.

the veranda in front of Building 2. It is exactly 1/4 mile around, but no one’s running on it anymore.

Hallway into MATC - outside of OT Clinic.  It is dark because the power is out.

Hallway into MATC – outside of OT Clinic. It is dark because the power is out.

No more tour groups (except me!)

Inside the Fishbowl

Fishbowl

No more tour groups (except me)

That's the the "Solo-Step" track in the ceiling, where we could clip patients in so they wouldn't fall when learning to walk/run

That’s the the “Solo-Step” track in the ceiling, where we could clip patients in so they wouldn’t fall when learning to walk/run

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you can just barely make out the tape outline of our old agility ladder on the floor

you can just barely make out the tape outline of our old agility ladder on the floor

This is the view through the one way mirror in the psychiatrist's office looking out into our clinic.  Don't act crazy!

This is the view through the one way mirror in the psychiatrist’s office looking out into our clinic. Don’t act crazy!

someone appears to have left the driving simulator behind.

someone appears to have left the driving simulator behind.

and the 3-D virtual reality treadmill!

and the 3-D virtual reality treadmill!

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– Hallway from MATC to Building One

Walking into the hospital now... This is the prosthetics lab where they assembled the arms and legs.  Empty now.

Walking into the hospital now… This is the prosthetics lab where they assembled the arms and legs. Always busy -empty now.

No more sick call!

No more sick call!

The therapy pool. Where the pool therapist once caught a patient giving her St. Bernard a bath in the locker room.

The therapy pool. Where the pool therapist once found a patient giving a St. Bernard dog a bath in the locker room during lunch.

Inside the 3rd Floor Outpatient PT Clinic - did someone have a party here?

Inside the 3rd Floor Outpatient PT Clinic – did someone have a party here?

3rd Floor Outpatient PT

3rd Floor Outpatient PT

 

View from PT Clinic

View from PT Clinic

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Stairwell in Walter Reed’s colors!

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– Courtyards

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The monkeys were still in the trees

The monkeys were still in the trees

Ward 57, the orthopedics ward.  If you were in a blast injury you were here or Ward 58.

Ward 57 empty at last

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Patient room in the Eisenhower Suite

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– View from the Eisenhower Suite

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– “I see France!” (KD)

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Mologne House gazebo and patio.  Unfortunately the fish in the coy pond were eaten by raccoons after the closure.

Mologne House gazebo and patio. Unfortunately the fish in the coy pond were eaten by raccoons after the closure.

IMG_1031

Crab apple trees.

Crab apple trees.

Nope

Nope

Never noticed these before

Never noticed these before

Old Chapel still looks brilliant!

Old Chapel still looks brilliant!

Working pipe organ

Working pipe organ

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Rumbaugh Garage where I always hoped for parking

Rumbaugh Garage where I had always hoped to qualify for parking

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– Now I’m a tourist. Goodbye WRAMC!  You served us well.

 

 

93 thoughts on “Photos of Walter Reed 3 years after it closed”

  1. John Varble said:

    I took an early retirement in order to pursue an education and subsequent career in the Physical therapy arena. I was so moved by the stories of U.S. soldiers returning home with severe wounds and impairments that I put the Walter Reed hospital on the top of the list as my future “career-home”. Now, I have two seven week (1 semester) clinical rotations and a National Board exam to complete before I make the dream a reality!! I was very disappointed when the original facility closed but it hasn’t quenched my desire to work for my country’s finest heroes!! Thank you for sharing your memories. JV

    • That’s great. I highly recommend the field of physical therapy – no matter where you end up working, you do something every day that really matters. Best of luck to you!

    • kay brune said:

      You are the hand of God along with the rest of the medical people. Keep up the good work.

  2. It makes me sad to see it empty, but truly appreciate your sharing these images. Thank you!

  3. I never worked at the “Original Walter Reed”, but I always heard how nice it was laid out. I am forever blessed for opportunity of working at National Naval Medical Center/Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Those experiences I will forever hold near and dear to my heart. Blessed to have worked and healed our wound warriors, and I am forever grateful for that opportunity:) Thank you for sharing. I truly love the field of physical therapy, always touch peoples life and ourselves on a daily:)

    Stay blessed!

  4. Jennifer Lancaster said:

    I spent the most memorable years of my nursing career at WRAMC (2006-2010). Four years of blood, sweat, and tears and exhaustion interspersed with moments of joy so powerful I thought my heart might burst. You could always feel the weight of the history around you. I swear there was magic in the air but I didn’t realize it til I left. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sally McGuire said:

    Kind of bittersweet memories there… my son was severely wounded in 2010 and spent a month at WRAMC before transferring to BAMC and the CFI, best rehab in the world!!! Ward 57 always very cold even in summer and we used to escape to the courtyard to warm up. Sad that it’s sitting there empty. We heard it would be used as an education facility.

    • I am so sorry that your son had to come to Walter Reed as a patient. But I am glad that he got good care – and hope the pictures brought you some nice memories as well.

  6. farally said:

    This is so awesome. To see this again. One of the last people to leave this piece of history while on active duty.

  7. Michele Perdasofpy P said:

    I was stationed at WRAMC twice the first time I worked on Ward 75 and the second time I was a Practical Nurse Instructor (M6). My clinical rotations were on Ward 57. I still can’t believe the hospital is closed, I thought they would keep parts of it open, new gym and new rehabilitation areas just built before it closed. I have great memories of Walter Reed.

    • Remember how the new gym made you carry your shoes in so you wouldn’t mess up the shiny floors? I wish it was still open. Walter Reed was a special place!

  8. Chuck stewart said:

    Thank you. Our son spent 18 months at Walter Reed in 2010-2011. Eternally grateful for the care and love he received. Thanks for the photo’s especially Ward 57. Thanks for your role helping wounded soldiers!

    • I’m so sorry your son had to come to WRAMC as a patient – but glad he got good care and that you enjoyed the picture of Ward 57 now closed forever.

  9. Ryan Kelly said:

    Thank you for sharing these. I was a patient in Ward 57 back in 2003 following the loss of my leg to an IED. The 13 months I spent recovering at Walter Reed were very impactful in my life and your pictures brough back a lot of memories. It was a sad day for me when I learned the facility was being closed! As Army brat and veteran so many of the places in my past have been lost to base closings. Hopefully, someone will keep it close to the same whenever they redevelop Walter Reed. Thanks again. Ryan.

    • So sorry about your injury – what a sacrifice. But glad you liked the pictures. It was a special place, as you know, you were part of a big Walter Reed family

  10. Thanks for the memories! My son was a patient on Ward 58 from Nov. 2004 – Feb. 2005. I stayed at the Mologne House during that time. He doesn’t have any memories of that time but I certainly do! Thank you for wanting to work in the area of physical therapy; my son suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and received daily PT at Walter Reed and other facilities. It took more than three years but they got him walking on his own! He received outstanding care at WRAMC and it, and the people who worked there, will forever have a special place in my heart.

    • So sorry to hear about your son’s devastating injury but glad he’s up on his feet now. It was an honor to work there. I’m glad that you can enjoy the pictures.

  11. Jennifer Pratt said:

    so neat that you got to go back and see everything. I worked on 54 before the BRAC. I can’t believe what was left behind. Such waste as always in the government. I wish I had a chance to go back and see it since I had to travel down to Fort Belvoir before it actually closed. Thanks for the update. Lots of memories happened there.

    • I wish I had been able to spend more time walking around Walter Reed and appreciating what we had there too – instead of just rushing to work every day.

  12. Despite the different paths that brought us there, Walter Reed was a beautiful and special place full of amazing people. Glad that people like the pictures.

  13. I was stationed here before going to korea, specifically in the Armed Forces institute of Pathology (AFIP) bldg. Always considered myself a field soldier until my tour there. A lot of happy days in the tv studio.

  14. WRAMC will always be special to me. I was an RN on 54 from 2008 up until the closing.However, I was also stationed there in what seems like(and really was) another lifetime! I was an MP with the 236th MP Detachment, WRAMC, from 1981 – 1982, when Health Services Command decided they no longer wanted a MP presence there and went to just having the civilian DOD Police. I believe they were transitioned over to Dept of the Army Police after that. Our barracks was out at the Forest Glen section in Maryland where the Commissary and PX were. It is now a homeless shelter! Our K9 Kennel was also there. Our Unit was deactivated and we all came down on orders for all over the world. I met and fell in love with my first wife there! She was also Army, though worked in Nutrition Care. So, when I went back there to work on 54 in 2008 it was surreal to say the least. I used to tell my coworkers I saw a memory around every corner!
    I echo the sentiment about the waste. Stuff that was left there was unbelievable, not to mention the fact they completed a 3.5 million dollar renovation of ward 54 not long before the BRAC! Just look at the items you saw that were left. I can only imagine that it is not cheap equipment! Thank you for another chance to see another memory around the corner! Take care an be well!

    • Thank you for that phrase – “a memory around every corner.” So true! Thank you for your many years of service!

    • “a memory around every corner.” Couldn’t have said that any better, great photos and memories of serving here at Walter Reed as an MP 95B10, signed up at age 17 before graduating from High School. After basic and AIT at Ft. McClellan Al. I was stationed for my entire tour at WRAMC from October 1, 1977 to June 1980. The Main hospital was just built and almost completed and at first the MP’s stayed here at the base but in 1978 moved to Forest Glen to make room for hospital staff. Some of those MP’s, Lt. Cantrell, the company commander was awesome, many fond memories and great week long trips in the winter hiking the Appalachian trail. Colonel Masterson the Provost Marshal he treated us well. Many fond memories glad I came upon this site.

      • Glad to provide some fond memories! And thank you for sharing yours.

      • I was at WRAMC as an MP from 1976-1979. I moved off post as soon as I could. There was an apartment on Georgia Avenue and then purchased a house in Woodbridge, Virginia.

        Originally, the MPs lived in Abrams Hall but there were too many issues with other enlisted. I forget my first 1st Sergeant (POW in Vietnam). But, I remember Col. Frith and 1SGT Blankenship. I remember fondly the two sergeants that worked in Traffic, one was SGT. Ayers. My 2nd squad leader was SGT Thomas Butler.

        It was an awesome experience for an 18 year old, right out of high school. Many people here probably do not know that General Bernstein was a Korean War hero (he was shot in the buttocks). There is a website with Texan war heroes and he is mentioned on that site.

        I caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people. But, in the end, I met my first wife at WRAMC and that was even more trouble. I from time to time visit and remember Bruce, Jane and Michael.

  15. Chris Frost said:

    Thanks for sharing these photos.

  16. Sally McGuire said:

    Just finished reading your book Adele, it was wonderful to see the perspective of the therapist! My son was on ward 57 summer of 2010, part of the big influx of wounded. He pretended to be asleep when his PT came to get him! Thanks to all of you wonderful patient nurses and therapists, he walks quite normally on his two prosthetic legs. Thank you!!

  17. Having served at WRAMC in 1996-7, this brought back a lot of memories. I was part of the first wave of Navy medics to come over from NNMC Bethesda, and had the honor of being the first Navy Corpsman to serve on an Army Cardiac Arrest Team (REDBird). I was on 61, until it turned into a clinic, and then on 58. I remember we would help train the 91C’s. who were the LPN medics for the Army, on our wards. What a nice walk down memory lane. Thank you very much for the pictures 😀

  18. Daniel Ouellette said:

    I was a patient at Walter Reed! I spent about two years in and out of the hospital getting reconstructive surgery on my arm. Sorry, I’m really at a loss for words, seeing this place closed! I endured a lot while I was there! Again, sorry!

    But seriously, what are they going to do with the post? There’s a lot of historic builds there and it would be a shame to see them torn down or worse yet, to see the locals get ahold of the place a trash it! I know there’s a lot of good local people, but there also a bunch that have no clue! My first foray outside of the post involved coming across a shooting/ homicide just up the street on Georgia Avenue!

    Thank you for posting the pictures!

  19. “the discovery of a small nuclear reactor on base”
    You Are Kidding, Right?

  20. I’m still trying to get over the one way mirror…and the fact that they left the driving simulator behind…and the monkeys in the trees…

  21. Mr Tankhead said:

    2007-2012 were interesting times for WRAMC and the 1st WTB.

  22. My sister was born here in 1958. Our father was in the Air Force and teaching at the War College. I just sent her some pictures of her birthplace!Thank you for bringing her into the world!

  23. My sister was born at Walter Reed in 1958. Our father, an Air Force Colonel, was teaching at the War College at that time. So glad and thankful you brought her into the world!! Thank you

  24. Marguerite Niemoeller said:

    I sit here with tears in my eyes looking at these photos. We were the first group to move out of WRAMC and transfer to NNMC. The NICU moved in 1995. NNMC became my home but WRAMC was and always will be my first love. My husband came there as a 2nd Lt. We were fortunate to live in the American Bungalow at Forest Glen, also just a memory with condos, etc., in the Headquarters Building Forest Glen. So many memories are wrapped up in WRAMC and Forest Glen. My children’s friends thought they lived in Disneyland. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Born at this great hospital in 1976, patient in ER after motorcycle crash in 2003, started my service to this nation in the Eisenhower Suite (Ward 72) in 2005,. I met many great people here, some that even helped me get my foot in the door into my career as a nurse. I miss riding that golden elevator. Shoot I even went through the A.R.T here and got my precious daughter here in 2008. Walter Reed has been a very big part of my life. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

  26. Olga Wasile said:

    I was originally looking for the OLD hospital ward ?21/22 (combination urology/ENT) in the tall red brick building where I was an Army Nurse from 1976 to 1979. I was involved in MOVING to the Presently closed WRAMC, so I was shocked it was closed, even though this is over 35 years ago! I still think of it as the NEW Hospital. I worked in the Cardiac care unit there– my path led me to Kimbrough Army Hospital, Ft. Meade Maryland. Then a move to Chicago, Medical School, and a career as a Physician in the Air Force, now presently retired — met my Husband while still and Army Nurse at the OLD open bay wards–Wonder if any pictures available of the REAL old WRAMC Wards?

  27. Stephen Beeson said:

    thanks for the pictures Adele its a little unsettling after spending 3 years there limb salvaging n amputating seeing it empty was a really good place nice staff unruly soldiers everywhere was awesome : D, met the best guys i’ll ever know there, thanks for being patient and always having optimistic eye

    • I’m glad, that considering the circumstances, Walter Reed was good to you. Wishing you all the best going forward, Stephen, and nothing but clears skies ahead! -adele

  28. Bob Kitchell said:

    To see WRAMC 3 years after the closing was great. It brought back memories that may have been lost forever. It is so sad that the greatest hospital sits empty. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Phillip Brever said:

    How did you get in? I’d love to go back and do this one day

  30. Bob Kitchell said:

    Just wondering if all the pictures and art work were left on the wall?

  31. The walls were all bare…

  32. Melissa Vedder Murray said:

    The Vedder Building was named after my Grandfather. I still don’t understand why such a large facility that served so many would just close. Couldn’t they given it some updates?

    • Wow – that’s cool! The Vedder Building! Updates would certainly have saved money. They went 1.5 billion dollars over budget when they merged NNMC and WRAMC.

    • That’s amazing! The Vedder Building was one of the biggest buildings on campus – and also rumored to have a nuclear reactor in the basement… I wish they could have updated it. They went a billion and half dollars over budget when they merged WRAMC with NNMC

  33. Thanks so much for posting. I was active duty 91B at WRAMC-Ward 57 from 1998-1999 and I loved every minute of it. I miss it so much and hate that it closed (well, merged). I wish the Army would keep at least some of it open for tours-there is so much history. Now I have to go and look up the Forest Glen Annex to see where that went as well.

  34. Thanks for posting these. My dad was rehabilitated at Walter Reed in the early 50’s he had a farming accident but was able to be treated at Walter Reed because my grandfather was a col. at the Pentagon, thus enabling my dad to have an excellent rehabilitation at Walter Reed. he recently passed away at the age of 82 and worked everyday up until his death. He had so many stories to tell about his time at Walter Reed and the camaraderie of the men there. I guess change is inevitable.

    • Felix Rijos, PT said:

      Hi Adele,

      Don’t know if you remember me. I worked at WRAMC as a physical therapist in out patient ortho between 2008 to 2009. Very emotional to see pictures of the remains. I still shed a tear when I speak of my experience there. I look forward to reading your book as my present supervisor mentioned the book, and I clearly remembered you. You always rode your bike to work. I am now at Naval Hospital Beaufort, S.C. Serving veterans and active duty personnel. God bless you and keep marching on.

      Respectfully,
      Felix

      • Felix!! Of course I remember you – I’m glad you remember me. Glad you liked the pictures… it is sad to see it closed. I have some fun memories of you – remember the article we wrote in the Turnip about you changing your name to the symbol omega? You were a good sport about that. And also riding up Georgia Avenue together in the center of one of those elongated buses – both of anticipating the bus ripping in half. The Naval Hospital Beaufort is lucky to have such an awesome PT. Many good blessings to you Felix! V/R – adele

    • Glad you liked the pictures and I’m glad to hear that your Dad had excellent care at WRAMC. Working until 82 – he sounds like a hell of a guy!

  35. Michelle said:

    Amazing pictures. If only the walls could talk ….

    I’m curious – do you know how are the buildings are being use now? Are they being repurposed or are they sitting empty?

  36. Taty Stevens said:

    Thank you for sharing your memories. I did two rotations at WRAMC as an ANC officer. Worked on 51, 75 and 72. Never will forget my time serving and caring for our soldiers and their families.

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  38. Joe Rosendo said:

    Wow….I was there for 8 months in 2008 as a patient and remember hearing the permanent personnel speak of the move. These pictures take me back…it wasn’t the best time of my life but there were a lot of good people I met.

  39. Wow, Thanks man!! I served at Walter Reed as a soldier in the Army from January 94 To November 98. It was so nice to see these pictures it brought back so many memories. I was an Occupational Therapy specialist. What a great place and the gym was state of the art. Running down Rock Tree Park was awesome too. Good stuff brother!!!

  40. Enjoyed the pictures very much. I was stationed at WRAMC from 1974 to 1984. Trained to be a cardiac heart perfusionist ( heart-lung machine.) Trained for this at the original hospital and was involved with the transfer to the new Walter Reed operating rooms and ward-46. Worked the heart team there until I retired in 84. Wonderful memories of both facilities and thanks for the memories.

  41. clausmartel said:

    I was stationed there from 1976 to 1980. First at Ward 10 (old building), the neurosurgical unit, then ward 58. My son was born there in 1979. Great memories!

  42. My son was medi-vac from Heidelberg to Walter Reed in August 1979 for a birth defect. I was assigned to Ft Meade and we used Walter Reed for 6 years for specialists. The hospital was brand new and still working out the bugs. One of those was the elevator doors. They would slam shut whether you were inside–or just half-way. I had to abandon my other son inside the elevator when the doors closed before I could get inside. Had to dash up the lobby stairs to the second floor to retrieve him. Daughter was born there in 1980. Lifelong memories.

  43. WILLIAM LUCAS said:

    I was stationed at wramc in 1975 till 1978 as an ekg tech i remember living at walter reed inn till Abrams hall was finish i work in the old hospital and had the privilege of working in the new hospital after i came back from Germany. Its been 40 yrs working in cardiolgy and i thank you for the memories

  44. I was stationed at WRAMC from Aug 2001 – Jun 2003, and Jun 2004 – Oct 2005, and I was a federal employee there from Feb 2006 – Nov 2006. I have great memories from there, and it’s sad to see it in it’s current state.

  45. I was at WRAMC as a patient Medovac from the 99th General Hospital Frankfort Germany in 1980. WRAMC was so beautiful on the outside setting off the street of Georgia ave, I still have plenty of memory of the area and the grounds but when you came to the wards it was a hole different look of the patient rooms and treatment rooms I remember being very ill but God watched over me, a lot of sick soldiers faces always watching to see what team of doctors was coming through the doors with uncertainty remarks about there health. ‘as a youngman I wasn’t no different “SALUTE WRAMC”

  46. jack singleton said:

    I was at AFIP from 4-70 2-74, I am wondering why WR has not been turned into a hosp. for retired mil. and a old folks home. I now live in sequim wa. so I will not get back to DC in my life time. I was in charge of putting the med. museum in place. I moved right before it opened at forest glen.

  47. Kevin Knotts said:

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing. I worked there as a soldier and later as a civilian. I was one of the biomeds. We took care of all the medical equipment. I enjoyed my time there and made lots of friends. Still miss the place.

  48. Ezekiel Leavell Jr. said:

    I served here for 14 of my 17 years (3 tours) at the army’s mickey mouse club. I arrived in April of 1973 and departing in 1989. The troop companies were known as “Troop Command” back then and LTC EARL ZIBELL(?) WAS COMMANDER. I would serve under him again as senior enlisted for the Medical Division of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee.(Reagan’s 2nd)

  49. charles morden said:

    Dad was command chaplain there in the mid to late 60s when I was in junior and senior high school. Height of Vietnam and WRAMC was the end of the line for too many brave young men only a few years older than I. I used to visit the old wards and read and help write letters for too many who died there. Fond memories too of helping push the old upright piano from ward to ward and listening to Jimmy Durante, Hope, Sinatra and many others who came to entertain and visit. Remember playing gin rummy with Eisenhower many times when he was “tired of well meaning functionaries”. Early on dad would sometimes preach in the old church which seemed to me an island of God in a sea ruled by the angel of death. Remember a few times we would go back late at night and sneak in MLK or Ali who were not welcomed then by the powers that were but so appreciated by the wounded. My dad died in the new building in 1990. Can’t write anymore now too many memories and too much sadness. Will try again later. God Bless

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