This historic property features more than two dozen buildings featuring a variety of architectural styles from around the world. There are building modeled after a Swiss chalet, Japanese pagoda, Dutch windmill and even an English castle.
The various types of architecture mix with more traditional from different times periods including Victorian Stick-style and Classical help give the property a partial view of the world and history through the buildings. Sitting along the top edges of a wooded ravine there are stone footbridges, stairs and paths mixed around the buildings.
The first building opened as a hotel in 1887 and in 1894 a private school for women opened on the property. During World War II it served as a rehabilitation center for with Walter Reed Army Hospital.
The historic site was rescued from “demolition by neglect” and has been rehabilitated into residential use. A group of preservationists and other concerned citizens worked with developers to bring the space back to usable life. The current residents, the Save Our Seminary group and developers continue to work on a few remaining buildings.
The unique group of buildings sits in an area, bordered by a residential community, the Washington Beltway, a military installation and nearby commercial spaces. Many people who first see the property ask “What is this place?” as it stands out from its neighbors.
The Alexander Company of Madison, Wisconsin was the master developer and rehabilitated most of the larger buildings. EYA partnered in the development and building of the new townhomes and Washington Landmark Construction/Development rehabilitated four buildings. Avamere Development continues to work on three historic buildings.