The above is a collection of photographs from Google Street view of the George Washington University Hospital and the surrounding area. These photos start with the “current” day view, which was taken by Google in December of 2016. Under that is the oldest street view which Google has of the area, taken in August 2007. The order of the remaining screenshots is: June 2008, July 2009, June 2011, April 2014, then June 2015. What’s most interesting for me to notice, is that the exterior of GW Hospital does not change at all, yet the neighborhood does quite a bit. Most obviously would be the giant glass building which is erected across the street from GWH. However, through the trees one can also see the introduction of another office building through the years. Next to the glass building, there is also another new building which appears between 2009 and 2011. What’s also a little fun to look at is the change in car brands in these pictures. In the earliest pictures, the cars seem to be less expensive brands, such as Ford, Toyota, or cabs. However, as the years progress there are more luxury automobiles in the screenshots. In 2011, there is a Mercedes in the middle of the street, in 2015 there is a BMW and Acura, and in the most recent picture a Lexus and BMW. Now, this could be pure coincidence, or it could be very representative of the increased socioeconomic and political atmosphere of the area.
Ok, so to say this is the view of the GW Hospital from the National Monuments may be a bit of a stretch, but this is the view of the hospital from the direction of the monuments. This is also the view of the hospital from the nearest metro stop, which stops right next to the hospital (you can see the metro sign in the above picture). This view is a little “nicer” that the view from Washington Circle, due to all of the windows. However, it follows the same rules of meshing well with the surrounding neighborhood.
This is the view of GW Hospital from the Washington Circle NW, which is on the side of GW Hospital opposite of the National Mall and monuments. The majority of people coming to the hospital most likely come from this direction (due to the proximity of major roadways). Therefore, it’s safe to say that this view is one of the first impressions people get from GW Hospital. As discussed in previous posts, the hospital looks relatively new and in good condition, yet is not out of place at all with the surrounding buildings.
Aside from the elongated girl in the foreground, there really isn’t anything too out-of-the-ordinary about the GW Hospital, as this panorama picture of the exterior shows. The building appears to be relatively new, but not overly unusual. The stone is a simple brown color, and although there are a good amount of windows used on either side of the building, they are not architecturally designed to be outlandishly modern. It fits in closely with the surrounding area, which you can glimpse a little in this picture, which houses other stereotypical semi-tall city buildings in whites and browns. It would appear to me that GW Hospital put effort into their design to compliment their neighborhood, rather than stand apart.
One of the first things someone may notice about GW Hospital, especially if one is searching for the building intentionally, would be its signage. The building itself is not that extraordinary: it has a simplistic brown stone and glass facade, so it blends in relatively well with the surrounding buildings (pictures in other posts). So what really helps set the hospital apart would be the signs letting people know where they are. The two signs that stood out the most would be the main “The George Washington University Hospital UHS Universal Health” sign in black, and the ER Hospital Entrance location signage. However it’s interesting to note that even these signs are relatively simplistic in design. GW Hospital either purposefully wanted to be discrete in their design, or they may figure that those who need to know of the hospital’s location, will know without any dramatic notifications.
The George Washington University Hospital, as the name may give away, is a medical care facility. This means that access into this physical site is limited, for various reasons. However, thanks to Google, there is still a way to see inside this built environment. Pictured here is a patient room (http://www.usa.skanska.com/projects/project/?pid=10839) located inside the hospital, from two different views. Its easy to see that this could be considered a fairly “nice” and up-to-date hospital room. Of course since these are staged photographs its important to note that real life may not look quite this glamorous, but the rooms look generally clean, spacious, and contain lots of modern technology. Another photograph of the interior main nurses’ station (https://www.shannonspecialtyfloors.com/george-washington-university-hospital-washington-d-c/) is also shown, which exhibits many of the same characteristics of the room: clean, spacious, and with modern technology. For reference, I have included a picture of another hospital in DC (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/388294799092313596/), but this hospital is located in an area of lower socioeconomic status, and serves a very different clientele. This hospital, known as United Medical Center, is located in SE (rather than NW) DC- and the differences are very obvious. From these interior pictures alone, we can tell that the George Washington University Hospital is very well funded, and most likely serves a more prestigious client-base than some other hospitals in DC.
The final exterior picture is actually not one of the hospital at all (though you can see the emergency entrance in the right corner). Instead, this is a panorama of the opposite side of the street. I feel that it’s important to understand the neighborhood around GW Hospital as well (plus it’s been referenced in all other exterior digital archive pictures). Although you can’t see a ton of surrounding buildings in this picture, you can get an understanding of the surrounding area. There seems to be a decent amount of recent construction, with a “now leasing sign” on the side of the new apartment complex. The glass building directly across the street also appears to be pretty new, which says something about the area. Although not obvious in the picture. Both these buildings serve purposes for George Washington University (housing and food/ shopping/ offices). GW definitely has a strong presence in this area of DC, though it would appear that they are not trying to change the overall feeling of the landscape by any drastic means.