11 Nov

Weekend Sneak Peeks at the Hill Center

Diana Ingraham, Executive Director of the Hill Center. Photo by Tim Ebner.

Next Saturday, the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital will open its doors to the public and welcome the community to what organizers say will be one of the first of many community events to take place on the campus.

The Old Naval Hospital was Washington’s first Naval Hospital commissioned by Abraham Lincoln in 1864, and it has sat empty for the last 12 years. Recently, the building reemerged to life after approximately one year’s worth of restoration process.

The building has received numerous renovations — both inside and out. The Center houses 13 different rooms for public programming, including spaces for community meetings, art exhibitions and educational classes. Already, there’s a list of programs scheduled for November.

For those who want to get an advance look at the Center, the organization is seeking volunteers this Saturday and Sunday to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs, donated by the Center’s landscape architect, Oehme, van Sweden & Associates.

Follow the jump for a photo tour of the Hill Center…

“What was really needed was a community center. It’s a place where folks can meet for civic, cultural and educational activity,” said Diana Ingraham, Executive Director of Hill Center. “Before, this really didn’t exist on the Hill.”

The Center has incorporated programming that brings local businesses like Frager’s Hardware, Capitol Hill Yoga and The Shakespeare Theatre Company into the building. There are also a variety of cooking classes that will be taught from an equipped demonstration kitchen, and a non-profit offering technology training courses.

“Initially, because we are so new, it’s very clear that it’s a win-win situation to collaborate with existing businesses and organizations in the neighborhood,” added Ingraham.

Neighborhood residents will be able to meet the Hill Center’s program partners at next week’s open house. The Center opens to the public on Saturday,  Nov. 19th from 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Neighbors can listen to live music, sip apple cider, and tour the building.

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