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Forest Glen, Maryland: National Park Seminary: Pagoda, Castle, Windmill

After glory years as a school and government facility it was developed into homes. Remaining: a pagoda, castle, windmill, decaying statues.

Linden Ln, Forest Glen, MD
Take Capital Beltway to exit 31, go south on Georgia Ave. Go west on Seminary Rd, make slight right on Linden Ln, you will pass the Walter Reed Medical Center on left, Seminary is on right. Private property in many areas.
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Statue and boarded up building.

National Park Seminary: Pagoda, Castle, Windmill

This is a site not to be missed by urban explorers. Built in the late 1800s as a resort for the wealthy DC crowd, it later became a women's refining school, a women's college, and was then bought by Walter Reed to house recovering vets after WW2. It was bought by a developer several years ago and some of the property has been turned into luxury apartments.

National Park Seminary features decaying statues, a building designed as an English castle, an Italian villa, and even a house designed as a Dutch windmill.

The best access point is to take Linden Ave. past the National Museum of Health and Medicine. You will drive onto an access road and will be able to walk around the grounds from there.

[Felicia, 01/04/2016]
Forest Glen Seminary

Forest Glen Seminary is no longer completely abandoned. Many of the buildings have been restored and have residents living in them. There are a few abandoned areas, but not for long.

[M, 12/13/2010]
Forest Glen Seminary

The Forest Glen Seminary has been bought by a developing company, which is making it into luxury condos. The chalet, castle, windmills, yellow manor house, theater house, etc. are all being turned into various forms of housing. They are leaving as much of the original exterior as possible.

[Rom Deussen, 07/07/2007]
Forest Glen Seminary and the Cold War

My father has a photograph to remember Forest Glen by -- in it he is a much younger man, clad in United States Army uniform with his unit in the ballroom at Forest Glen in the 1950s. He and his fellow soldiers were part of Project Whitecoat.

This was an army project using Seventh-day Adventist young men (because of the group's health teachings) as research subjects in what were described at the time as experiments to help protect our troops against biowarfare. Draftees unwilling to carry weapons for religious reasons were often assigned to be trained as medical corpsmen and sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for training. During training Adventist soldiers would be offered a choice participate as a research subject in an "important medical project," or get shipped off to the front lines in Korea (and later Vietnam) -- over the course of the program about 2,200 or so men volunteered for Whitecoat.

After training they were sent to Forest Glen to be housed. The men did maintenance, worked in a prosthetics lab, served as drivers and other kinds of tasks when not "on a project."

When they were selected to participate in a "project" (experiment) they would be sent to Fort Detrick near Frederick, Maryland or other locations (Dugway Proving Ground (in Utah) for example) where they would be exposed to various doses of infectious agents then isolated and observed under controlled conditions to see who would become sick, and to follow the progress of their illness.

My father never went on a project and spent his time as a driver for generals, but many of the other soldiers were involved in experiments with Q fever, Tularemia and other nasty germs. Project Whitecoat ended in the 1970s when the United State's biological research projects were de-militarized. Army officials say that Whitecoat volunteers contributed to the development of key vaccines: yellow fever, hepatitis A, anthrax and plague.

Critics however, label the project as part of a large program towards the development of offensive biologial weapons.

[John Lamb, 09/15/2004]
Decaying Forest Glen Seminary

Forest Glen Seminary is an eclectic collection of turn of the century buildings on the grounds of what was once a girl's boarding school and was later purchased by Walter Reed Army Hospital as a place for war veterans to recover from battle trauma. Located within shouting distance of the Washington beltway, the Seminary, which has remained in disuse for over four decades, is truly a surreal sight. It includes a Japanese Pagoda, a windmill, a castle, and an enormous Swiss chalet, all (but the pagoda) in bad shape and in need of repair. Be sure to bring a camera.

[Erik Michelsen, 01/27/2001]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Mormon Temple - Fairy Tale RocketsMormon Temple - Fairy Tale Rockets, Kensington, MD - < 1 mi.
Big Hand Releasing BirdsBig Hand Releasing Birds, Silver Spring, MD - 2 mi.
Big AcornBig Acorn, Silver Spring, MD - 2 mi.
In the region:
American Acropolis, Washington, DC - 8 mi.

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