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Smallpox Hospital (100)

1900 Massachusetts Avenue, SE, on the grounds of the Washington Asylum (later known as Gallinger Hospital, and still later as District of Columbia General Hospital)
Constructed in 1872, demolished

Late in 1871, the Legislative Assembly of the Territorial Government of the District of Columbia passed a law calling for the construction of a Smallpox Hospital. The Board of Public Works called on Cluss to design the building. After securing approval of the U.S. Army's Surgeon-General, Cluss submitted plans for a nearly square building, and a separate back building, both two stories high. Two wings, each one story high, provided rooms for patients. The Board of Public Works located the building near the Anacostia River, east of the District of Columbia Jail.

Though Smallpox epidemics were a major problem in the United States in the 19th century, isolation of victims at places like the D.C. Smallpox Hospital and vaccination gradually reduced the incidence of the disease. By the 1890s a few cases continued to appear each year in Washington, and doctors continued to send new victims to the Smallpox Hospital. In 1895, Congress approved funds for a new Smallpox Hospital and a new building was constructed. The fate of the Cluss building is not known.




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