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Children's National at Walter Reed

Walter Reed Pathology Building

On November 17, 2016, Children's National Health System signed an agreement with the U.S. Army to accept the transfer of nearly 12 acres from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center property in Northwest Washington, D.C.

There are now three separate owners of the Walter Reed site: The Parks at Walter Reed (68 acres) is owned by the District of Columbia; the Foreign Mission Center (32 acres) is owned by the State Department; and Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus at Walter Reed is owned by Children’s National.

Our Vision for the Future

Our long-term vision for Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus at Walter Reed is to create an internationally-recognized medical research and innovation center and an outpatient, pediatric and clinical services facility. 

Specifically, the new land will allow Children’s National to:

  • Significantly expand our world-class pediatric research facilities through relocation to Walter Reed. This will in turn allow expansion of key clinical care areas at the hospital.
  • Create an innovation campus devoted to pediatrics, leveraging our unique location in the nation’s capital and attracting the best and brightest research collaborators.
  • Provide primary care and other select services for pediatric and adolescent patients in the surrounding community. With the addition of this program, Children's National will offer clinical services in every ward in the District of Columbia.

We are currently working with Elkus Manfredi Architects and Array Architects to restore and retrofit the existing buildings on the site, while maintaining the existing natural landscape.

  • The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology will eventually house a state-of-the-art research and innovation center.
  • The former Post Theater will be renovated for use by the Children’s Research Institute (CRI), our innovation partners and the surrounding community.
  • Building 52 will house outpatient, pediatric primary care and the Rare Disease Institute, led by Marshall Summar, M.D. 
  • The Rumbagh parking garage will be refurbished and LED lighting and solar panels will be added; the design will also make the garage ADA-compliant.

Our target for opening the campus is 2020.

The support of visionary community and business leaders is critical to achieving our ambitious plan. Contact us at for more information on the future of the Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus at Walter Reed and how you can help make it a reality.

future plans for walter reed

History at Walter Reed

The former military facility, founded in 1909, was named for Major Walter Reed, the lead researcher who discovered that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes. During World Wars I and II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, tens of thousands of active duty and retired army personnel were treated on its campus. The campus closed in 2011 under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC).

Our 11.85 acre parcel, which nearly doubles the 12 acre footprint of Children’s National in Washington, D.C., includes four structures:

  • The former Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (building 54), a major research facility that is about 348,000 square feet. In operation until 2011, it was dedicated by President Eisenhower.
  • The Post Theater (building 53), which houses an auditorium, will support the health system’s educational mission.
  • A 31,000 square foot former medical ward (building 52), was used to treat Army soldiers on an outpatient basis.
  • The Rumbagh parking garage (building 3), an aboveground parking garage with 1,135 spaces.
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