Built Environment Project Outline and Introduction

For my built environment, I chose the George Washington University Hospital. From here, I explored the area and researched the history of the hospital, the adjoined GW medical school, the Foggy Bottom residency. When I started I planned on discussing the significance of the location in terms of the metro system but as the sight evolved so did my plan for the final project. I ended by investigating the relationship between the residents and the hospital.

My map is not a physical outline of Foggy Bottom but a metaphysical map of the rhetoric surrounding the statement, “love thy neighbor.” Although the map is metaphysical, the semester’s investigation of the built environment had a huge impact on the resulting commonplace, therefore, all digital archives and annotated bibliographies led to the one statement.

Here is an outline of my project:

Digital Archives (Interior and Exterior)

Annotated Bibliographies

The Final Project: The Analysis

The Map

Class Map

“Love Thy Neighbor”

After exploring many different sides to the George Washington University Hospital, the discourse found between the Hospital and Foggy Bottom residents led to a commonplace based on a single principle, specifically, the rhetoric and discourse surrounding the statement, “love thy neighbor,” which I discovered in a video of Dr. Sarani from the GW Hospital. Although this phrase is not acknowledged by the residents in typical fashion but it appears to all through how residents and the hospital relate to each other. This commonplace among the Foggy Bottom Association, run by residents, was discovered in a video of a town hall meeting for the GW Hospital and the Foggy Bottom community to discuss the addition of a helipad to the hospital. The phrase is greater than solely the Foggy Bottom community because it touches all of humanity in its value.

Dr. Sarani, of the GW Hospital, stated “Love thy neighbor” in response to the Foggy Bottom resident’s extreme opposition to the helipad instillation at the GW Hospital during a community town hall-like meeting. While the Foggy Bottom community argued that the helicopters entering the area would be too loud and too disruptive to the community, Dr. Sarani voiced his concerns for the wellbeing of the GW patients and the cost of their lives. This concept of “love thy neighbor” was reiterated by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Mike Conklin, a helicopter pilot and aviation consultant, previously for President Clinton. Lt. Col. Conklin stated, “2 minutes worth of noise to save someone’s life” is the difference between adding a helipad and negating the plan.

As previously stated, the rhetoric surrounding the phrase “love thy neighbor” extends past religion and to the basics of humanity. The theme is found in a recording of Mario Savio, political activist specializing in the free speech movement, where he discusses University of California-Berkeley’s relationship with its students. He stated, “We’re human beings! There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop.” The parallel comes from the idea that people must think larger than themselves. Where the university must recognize that all students are people and not part of a production line, the residents of Foggy Bottom must think past the noise of helicopters to the lives that are at stake. The human life must be taken importance over the machines.

Of the religious connotations of the phrase, found in Mark 12:31 of the bible, the ideology does not change. Although interpretations of the bible alter to each person, the general statement of acceptance and respect still remain. From the English Standard version of the bible, the statement is ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Although this phrase comes from the bible and will always have religious connotations, the idea does not even have to be in a religious sense, but just in a way that is in regards to the respect of others. That emphasizes that in no way is one life more important than another, that a noise complaint no more important than a human life. Thus, it extends to humanity as a whole, past the divisions of religion.

In addition to the religious basis, the phrase then gets carried into politics, sharing both religious connotations and the basic statement of morals and humanity. President Obama discussed in a past speech, as annotated by the Washington Post, the importance of these relationships between all people and nations. He presented this idea by stating,

“finally, let’s remember that if there is one law that we can all be most certain of that seems to bind people of all faiths, and people who are still finding their way towards faith but have a sense of ethics and morality in them — that one law, that Golden Rule that we should treat one another as we wish to be treated. The Torah says ‘Love thy neighbor as yourself.’ In Islam, there is a Hadith that states: ‘None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.’ The Holy Bible tells us to ‘put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.’ Put on love. Whatever our beliefs, whatever our traditions, we must seek to be instruments of peace, and bringing light where there is darkness, and sowing love where there is hatred” (“Remarks by Obama”).

           His examples and proposal lead to the discussion of using religion in political debates. Gary Gutting, presents this idea in his article, “Should religion Play a Role in Politics?” for the The New York Times. About using religious rhetoric in political debates, he states, “We have, for example, come to a consensus about extending full civil rights to all adult citizens, regardless of race or gender. But some argued for this conclusion from the equality of all human beings as children of God, others from self-evident truths about human nature, and still others from the overall increase in happiness that would result from equal treatment.” Gutting makes the argument that this ideology can be extended from religion and act as a basis for all people.

Thus, from my research of “Love thy neighbor,” the phrase and ideology ultimately creates a connection between all people, and in this case, all the residents in the Foggy Bottom area. Because the residents could not find a common ground with the representative’s Dr. Sarani and Lt. Col. Conklin from the hospital, the representatives created a commonplace with the universal concept of humanity and morality. The commonplace was mapped by how the ideology can be interpreted and used, and this introduction gave an outline as to the diverse map of the ideology. Prezi, as a variation of media, works to allow for the connections to be interpreted in many different ways because the map is not physically established in Foggy Bottom but a metaphysical map of ideas and interpretations.

Annotated Bibliography 9&10: Foggy Bottom Real Estate and Neighborhood Helipad Meeting

AB 9:

Washburn, Mark. “Foggy Bottom: DC’s Close to Everything Neighborhood.” DC Condo Boutique. 27 May 2014, http://www.dccondoboutique.com/blog/foggy-bottom-dcs-close-to-everything-neighborhood.html.

  1. Washburn, like any real estate agent, states that location is the most important aspect of Foggy Bottom because of the access that the area has. He states that “The convenient centrally located neighborhood is made up of federal offices like the U.S. State Department and George Washington University’s campus.  Its own Metro Station, Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro Station, serves Foggy Bottom” (Washburn 2014). From here, the prices of various condos are listed below the brief article, prices falling between $300,000- $1.3 million. As a result, the area is for reasonably well off folks who plan to live in central DC.
  2. I plan to use this information to give some background to those who live within Foggy Bottom. In relation to the GW Hospital, I plan to accentuate the upper class feel of the neighborhood and the tense relationship with the hospital due to noise complaints. I also plan to locate some of these condos on a map and put them into relation with the hospital and with the airport/landing ground that they use currently right now for the helicopter, outside of Foggy Bottom (“Video: FBA Meeting” 2017).


AB 10:

“Video: FBA Meeting on Proposed GWU Hospital Helipad.” Foggy Bottom Association. 8 March 2017,https://www.foggybottomassociation.org/single-post/2017/03/02/Video-of-FBA-Hosted-Meeting-Discussing-GWU-Hospital-Proposed-Helipad.

  1. In the video, Dr. Babak Sarani, Director of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at the Hospital discussed the benefits of having a helipad at the GW University Hospital because of the importance of patient life over noise complaints. He stated that the helicopter is more quiet than an ambulance and that the noise is already caused by the airport would be louder than the GW helicopter pad (“Video: FBA Meeting” 2017). This was reiterated by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Mike Conklin, a helicopter pilot and aviation consultant, previously for President Clinton (2017). Dr. Sarani discussed the need for more quick urgent care abilities and how that would be possible with a helipad. He also added how the hospital already does use helicopter patient movement but then they transfer patients to an ambulance, which ends up taking too long in most cases because of traffic and transition time.
  2. I would use this information to examine more greatly the discourse between the hospital community and the Foggy Bottom community and find the common thread of discourse of the neighborhood for the final project; Dr Sarani emphasized, “Love thy neighbor,” which seems to struggle in this discourse.

GW Community Spreads Through Foggy Bottom

“Foggy Bottom is conveniently located in the heart of Washington, D.C., close to three major airports, including Ronald Reagan Washington National, Washington Dulles International and Baltimore Washington International, as well as to Union Station where you can take the bus or train.” – https://www.gwu.edu/foggy-bottom-campus

One of the greatest aspects of the Foggy Bottom area is that it holds connections to all parts of the city, it has become an attraction for students and regular people who look for common attractions such as an abundance of restaurants and even places to live or attend school. Where GW University and all that it encompasses is located in DC is in Foggy Bottom, which has turned into college student filled area because of the GW buildings that are located all over the area, in addition to the attractions like the metro, and many restaurants. Foggy Bottom boasts locations to all places and the name itself refers to connects. When George Washington is researched, either as a school or as the hospital, they both draw attention to the connections. One thing that is noticed all over Foggy Bottom due to the draw of the area are the GW logos on all the buildings and being repped by all students walking around the city. Thus, the GW logos are what make the community within the area.

Foggy Bottom-GWU Station and the GW Hospital Street Corner

This video of the entrance of the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro Station captures the popularity of the location for many people that are both traveling by the metro, those who have a relation to the hospital, those who sell t-shirts and give out pamphlets by the street corner, and to the homeless. This area is but vibrant. In the video, in the background, one can faintly hear a man playing guitar and singing for money. This noise contrasts against the sound of foot and vehicle traffic in the background, people talking, and the escalator moving.


Annotated Bibliography 1&2

Annotated Bibliography 1:

Carter, Elliot. “How it was Built- Metro”. Architect of the Capital: Hidden History in Washington D.C, July 2016, http://architectofthecapital.org/posts/2016/6/22/metro-under-construction.

  1. The author, Carter shares in his blog post the basics about how the metro was built under Washington DC. He talked a bit about why the design was chosen for the metro- it’s waffled ceiling were constructed to make the place seem much more open than the other metros that had been built around the same time. His discussion is important because it discusses the affects the construction of the metro had on the city. The builders had to knock down certain buildings in order to dig for the construction of the metro. Lastly, Carter briefly discusses the architectural issues surrounding the metro. This article was not a critique of the metro, it was more of an appraisal and an advocate for the metro stations after all the hard work and design that went into its construction.
  2. History: This article may applicable to my project because of the affects the metro has on the area, whether that is the construction of the metro or it is the people that it brings with it. The metro is able to bring people into the area, where there are many restaurants, the college (GW), and where many people live in accessible rowhouses. When I went to visit my sight, at the George Washington University Hospital, I noticed as I exited the Foggy Bottom Metro escalator, the hospital was right there next to the metro. I thought of the significance of its relation to the hospital.

From the blog post: two photos of the construction

Annotated Bibliography 2:

Construction Underway On The New George Washington University Hospital. GW News Center, 5 April, 2000, https://www2.gwu.edu/~media/pressreleases/04-05-00-Hospital.cfm.

  1. The author, unknown, discusses the new additions to the hospitals as it is updated. This article has an update on the construction of the new hospital building which they said was to be completed by 2002 which is important because it highlights the new advances of the hospital and how it improves the neighborhood. The author mentions that this will be the first new hospital in 20 years and they give some insight into the numbers of those that will be working there and other accommodations of the hospital building (beds, professions, physicians). The author’s purpose of the update is important because it reassures citizens of city improvements through the public disturbances of the construction. The author cites, “‘for every tree that is cut down to permit construction, the University will compensate by planting two trees somewhere in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.’” At the time, in 2002 when the hospital was to be finished, it was to be “the city’s most modern and technologically advanced hospital,” said Alan Miller, Universal Health Services, Inc., chairman and chief executive officer” (2000).

“… planting two more trees”

  1. Background: This article is applicable to my project as it examines the growth of the hospital and the promise of the hospital reimbursing the surrounding neighborhood with trees and technological. Also highlighted after much research, is the strained relationship that GW has with community as it is partially residential, so the construction is noted for present day actions of the hospital as well as the past.