History of Medicine
Old Observatory once housed
the Naval Medical School
The Observatory Hill near the Kennedy Center is where the former U.S. Naval Medical School and Naval Hospital were located. Today the complex of buildings is the headquarters of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, and is closed to the public. The domed building visible from the corner of E and 23rd Streets was the original Naval Observatory (1844-1893). After the Observatory moved to its current location on Massachusetts Avenue, the building became the home of the Naval Museum of Hygiene (1894-1902) and then the Naval Medical School. The Naval Medical Hospital, with four pavilion-style wards, was constructed behind the old Observatory (1903-1908). The hospital complex also included quarters for sick officers and nurses, a contagious disease building and administrative structures. In 1942, all hospital functions were transferred to the new Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. No public tours are available at the Observatory Hill facility.
See: #14 on Downtown Map.
Nearest Metro Station: 'Foggy Bottom' on Blue and Orange Lines.
Note: Facility is closed to the public, but partly visible from the street.