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.

The Foggy Bottom neighborhood

This is a photograph of the Foggy Bottom metro from the back and the architecture of the GW hospital building from the court yard of the GW Medical School. This picture shows the hospital, the metro, and apartment buildings in the background from the courtyard of the University in one small congested area, which, in relation to the annotated bibliographies, shows the neighborhood disagreement over introducing a helipad to the area due to the confined space of the neighborhood.

Foggy Bottom Metro

This is a photograph of the metro stop at Foggy Bottom at GW Hospital and Medical school that shows the ability to connect with many other places within in DC, which then leads to the popularity of the area- in regards to living space, attending school, or spending free time for the attractions like restaurants . Also seen in the photograph are people handing out pamphlets that introduce things from attractions within the area to information about the hospital or other community programs.

The “GW” brand

This is a photograph of the GW seal in the court yard between the Medical school and the University Hospital. This is of significance because of the fact that the hospital only owns about 20% interest in the Hospital while an outside source owns the remaining 80%. The University’s name is all over the Hospital, so they will remain the face of the hospital through the various discussions with expansion relations and the neighbors in Foggy Bottom, who tend to disagree with the hospital in these discussions.

UHS Management of GW

UHS is the group that runs the hospital, rather than the actual university, which is what most people may imagine. According to the GW website under management, Universal Health Services Inc. holds 80% interest in the hospital while the university only holds about 20% interest. Together, the management works to pursue the highest care and services to all patients.

GW Hospital Trauma Center

The Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine was named in honor of Ronald Reagan when the hospital treated Ronald Reagan after the attempted assassination. This is the Emergency Medicine department of GW that has caused conflict between the hospital and neighbors (of the residential area in Foggy Bottom) due to the fact that they have a trauma center that requires much traffic through their neighborhood. In addition to ambulances, the hospitals plans to use helicopters in the neighborhood to transfer patients

Annotated Bibliography 7&8: GW Trauma Center and Potential Helipad

Annotated Bibliography 7:

Reed, Tina. “Why it Matters GWU Hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center.” Washington Business Journal. 5 Feb. 2014,  http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2014/02/why-it-matters-gw-is-level-1-trauma-cent.html.

  1. Reed states that GW Hospital has just recently, as of 2014, “regained verification as a Level 1 Trauma Center,” because the hospital wants to focus on being able to handle larger medical emergencies because of the location it has to the White House and other large public and important locations in the city. One thing that Reed notes specifically to add to the hospital’s argument, is that, “The center famously treated President Ronald Reagan after he was shot in a 1981 assassination attempt” (Reed 2014). But the issue comes to play of traffic within the Foggy Bottom area, after comparing it to Boston Hospitals. Although, the Reed cited, “The investment has made a big difference already. Average mortality rates in GW hospital’s trauma center have dropped from 33 percent to 22 percent, as measured using an injury severity scale. The trauma center fills a void in the northwest side of D.C. and northern Virginia where it might not be easy to reach other trauma centers in the region” (Reed 2014). Therefore, the Hospital has more benefits at the moment than issues.
  2. This article gives more background to the GW hospital’s trauma center without bringing in the argument of the helipad and the neighborhood concerns (not including traffic issues which is based off of the location). I would use this article to add to the hospital’s prestige because the hospital is already successful and is working on improving that.


Feinberg, Lawrence. “2 Agencies Approve GW Hospital Helipad.” The Washington Post. 5 April 1987,  https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1987/04/05/2-agencies-approve-gw-hospital-helipad/4ab1cd41-ea7a-4bfe-896b-f68dfc9fa696/?utm_term=.a7b971bb5fa7.

  1. Feinberg reports, on behalf of Charles Diehl, [GW university vice president], who stated “university officials first thought that their hospital needed a helipad after the Air Florida crash at the 14th Street Bridge in January 1982. because the victims who needed urgent care ended up having to be transferred to a farther hospital. Specifically, a helicopter took victims to the Washington Hospital Center, about two miles farther away. ‘We had major trauma center right here,’ Diehl said, ‘but they couldn’t get here.’” The argument for the helipad is divided between being able to more quickly help people who need urgent care and the issue of noise. The hospital argued that the helipad would only be used once a week, therefore the noise would not be too disruptive.

Photo from the crash of Air Florida

2.  I would use this to show how the history of the neighborhood and how it has always been in disagreement with the hospital over the helipad, not only in today’s news or in the 90s. And I would like to show how even though, today, George Washington University has taken over the majority of that area, that the neighbors still continue to remain in conflict with the hospital. This article was originally printed in 1987 and the same argument is still going on today in 2017, 30 years later. The neighbors in the Foggy Bottom residential area make the same arguments that claim the noise from a helicopter would be too disruptive.