New project highlights the ‘everyday’ people of Walter Reed

Before it was shuttered in 2011 and moved to a new location in Bethesda, Maryland, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center treated thousands of war-wounded veterans, including troops who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was the hospital where notable political and military figures died, including President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Now, a new history-gathering project is looking to elevate the personal stories of the everyday people who worked and lived near the old Walter Reed campus in D.C.

That 66-acre parcel of land is being repurposed into a mixed-use site that offers housing, more than 14 acres of green space, support services for seniors and veterans, along with office, retail, medical and educational uses.

The developers behind the project, The Parks at Walter Reed, are partnering with the D.C. History Center to gather stories of those “who lived worked and played on and around the campus.”

They will focus specifically on people who lived in the historically Black communities surrounding the campus, including Takoma, Shepherd Park, Colonial Village and Brightwood.

“This exciting collaboration puts the people and communities whose lives have been shaped by the Walter Reed campus at the center of the narrative,” said D.C. History Center Executive Director Laura Brower Hagood. “We are beyond excited to preserve and share the stories of Washingtonians who have witnessed its historic evolution, and now its carefully planned transformation.”

The team will be holding three community meetings over the fall, on Oct. 16, Oct. 27 and Nov. 4.

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