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Posted: 7/25/2013 7:11:20 AM EST
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-25/homeland-securitys-future-home-a-former-mental-hospital

Homeland Security's Future Home: A Former Mental Hospital

Chris Mills frequently gives tours of St. Elizabeths Hospital, a former mental institution where the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is building a $4.5 billion headquarters. It’s the largest construction project in the District of Columbia since the Pentagon was completed in 1943. So there’s a lot of ground to cover. Mills prefers to chauffeur his guests around the place in a golf cart.

A cheerful 55-year-old with a neatly trimmed mustache, Mills, who is managing the project for DHS, tells visitors to look out for animals. There are loads. Herds of deer, a flock of wild turkeys, and a bald eagle reside in the fenced-in facility. They might not last long outside. St. Elizabeths is located in Anacostia, one of D.C.’s toughest neighborhoods. But they have little to fear inside the high-security fences. “It’s like the wild kingdom in here,” Mills says with a chuckle.

Then he’s off in his golf cart with his passengers. His boss, Jeffery Orner, DHS’s chief readiness support officer, who oversees all of the department’s real estate, has come along for the ride. There’s a DHS public-relations person on board, too. She sits in the back, smiling and saying nothing. Everybody is wearing hard hats and DHS safety vests.

As Mills meanders through the leafy campus on a splendid June morning, he explains that the headquarters is mission-critical. He says DHS is currently scattered in 50 locations throughout the capital. After its dismal performance in Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the agency decided it would be better able to fight terrorists and respond to natural disasters if its leaders worked side by side in one place. “We really needed a consolidated headquarters,” Mills says.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:18:08 AM EST
[#1]
What an epic waste of tax payers money.......
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:21:13 AM EST
[#2]
A mental hospital? Seems appropriate.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:23:53 AM EST
[#3]
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Quoted:
A mental hospital? Seems appropriate.
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The Fletcher Memorial Home?
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:25:54 AM EST
[#4]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
A mental hospital? Seems appropriate.
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Yup, may as well put the lunatics in the madhouse.  Oddly enough, they also agree.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:32:17 AM EST
[#5]
They've been after this project for a while now

Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:35:55 AM EST
[#6]
Our country is turning into a futuristic sci fi horror story.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:38:51 AM EST
[#7]
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Quoted:
What an epic waste of tax payers money.......
View Quote


+1
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:40:14 AM EST
[#8]
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Quoted:


The Fletcher Memorial Home?
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Quoted:
Quoted:
A mental hospital? Seems appropriate.


The Fletcher Memorial Home?


I see what you did there.

Love that album.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:40:17 AM EST
[#9]
Quoted:
A mental hospital? Seems appropriate.
View Quote


St Elizabeth's used to a be a mental hospital. Most of it was shut down during the late 80s and early to mid 90s. Then there were reports of violations of the civil rights of patients. So it got almost completely shut down. Then a wing got built in like 2009 I think. Pretty modern. But all together it can only hold like 400 patients. Most of the patients in the 90s were sent to other facilities, but a substantial were simply released. They made up Washington DC's homeless population from the 90s to the mid 2000s. Used to tell my friends and family who visited to avoid the homeless at all costs. Some may just be looking for money. Others had real problems and could attack you.

DHS announced plans to move all the HQ elements of all the groups under it in there in 2010, but funding has gotten changed and plans have been re-developed so many times that it's pretty much gotten no where. The only ones in there full time are the US Coast Guard. Everything else is being built or planned. The ceremony was actually kind of nice.

4.5 billion seems kind of low to me. The new World Trade Center is estimated to cost 3.9 billion. If they built the Pentagon today, it would probably cost 8-10 billion. I would have thought the DHS headquarters would run around 6-7 billion. Oh well, there's still time ....
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:40:24 AM EST
[#10]
Fucking NSA is so full of Waste, its a god damn tragedy and pure Fail
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:40:43 AM EST
[#11]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


They've been after this project for a while now



View Quote




 
Does it really need to take twenty years?
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:40:45 AM EST
[#12]
I feel so much safer knowing that we are building a $4.5 billion facility for a relatively new government entity dedicated to protecting us from crazy people that may attempt acts of terrorism. In their eyes, any Arfcommer is a potential terrorist.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:41:34 AM EST
[#13]
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Quoted:


+1
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Quoted:
Quoted:
What an epic waste of tax payers money.......


+1


No it's cool, we have loads of money to blow.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:42:19 AM EST
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Fucking NSA is so full of Waste, its a god damn tragedy and pure Fail
View Quote


NSA =/= DHS

They have their own billiion dollar listening posts in Maryland.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:43:02 AM EST
[#15]
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:44:28 AM EST
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

  I cant wait till they close down the Pentagon because of budget cuts.

DHS. The rival security force prophesied by our savior king needs the funding more.
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Quoted:
It’s the largest construction project in the District of Columbia since the Pentagon was completed in 1943.

  I cant wait till they close down the Pentagon because of budget cuts.

DHS. The rival security force prophesied by our savior king needs the funding more.


For the modern power structure, internal threats are far more pressing than external.

Priorities man.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:51:39 AM EST
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Our country is turning into a futuristic sci fi horror story.
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What is Soylent Green???!!!!!
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:52:18 AM EST
[#18]
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:55:52 AM EST
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

  Does it really need to take twenty years?
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Quoted:
Quoted:
They've been after this project for a while now


  Does it really need to take twenty years?


Last time I was there, the only thing they had done was a little bit of preservation work (bracing, etc.) on the Kirkbride building. I honestly thought they had given up by now.

The other side of campus is still an active mental health facility (the only one operated by the federal govt.)
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:56:12 AM EST
[#20]

 
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:00:43 AM EST
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Last time I was there, the only thing they had done was a little bit of preservation work (bracing, etc.) on the Kirkbride building. I honestly thought they had given up by now.

The other side of campus is still an active mental health facility (the only one operated by the federal govt.)
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
They've been after this project for a while now


  Does it really need to take twenty years?


Last time I was there, the only thing they had done was a little bit of preservation work (bracing, etc.) on the Kirkbride building. I honestly thought they had given up by now.

The other side of campus is still an active mental health facility (the only one operated by the federal govt.)


So did a lot of people. Budgets change. DHS gets reorganizated. Katrina probably is the biggest example of that. Before, DHS was just supposed to be an information clearing house and sharing setup. After Katrina, it became apparent that this should be utilized for things other than terrorism, so they folded FEMA into DHS and built up the HQ element to work with various sectors and stakeholders of businesses and service providers. So they had to go back to Congress and get more money to study what kind of HQ they needed. Then they need to get money for a larger HQ. All while trying to accomplish the goals and requirements that President Bush had given them after Katrina.

COmbine that with the budget issues of the last 3 years and you can see why it's taken so long to actually build anything.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:08:52 AM EST
[#22]
I bet the commute there will be a bitch, and that neighborhood is Not Fun.

I've been on MLK through the place when traffic is fucked up on I-295. Yikes.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:13:36 AM EST
[#23]
4.5 billion, wow, what a waste of our money
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:15:09 AM EST
[#24]
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:15:45 AM EST
[#25]

Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:16:59 AM EST
[#26]
Quoted:
A mental hospital? Seems appropriate.
View Quote


That was my first thought.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:20:29 AM EST
[#27]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I bet the commute there will be a bitch, and that neighborhood is Not Fun.

I've been on MLK through the place when traffic is fucked up on I-295. Yikes.
View Quote

No kidding.

When I got there, police were taping off a crime scene on the sidewalk. From the roof of one of the buildings I heard what was most definitely a drive-by take place.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:21:24 AM EST
[#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I bet the commute there will be a bitch, and that neighborhood is Not Fun.

I've been on MLK through the place when traffic is fucked up on I-295. Yikes.
View Quote


Supposedly this project would come with some developments to the road system in that area.

But that's what the CIA told everyone in Virginia and shit didn't happen for like a decade.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:21:31 AM EST
[#29]
The problems with rehabbing Kirkbride plan buildings, especially for this kind of use, include asbestos and lead paint contamination; the difficulty of retrofitting electrical, data, voice, and security hardware; and the windows.  Lots and lots and lots of windows.

They're also beasts to heat.  Their age and decoration are difficult to maintain as well.

They're really incredible buildings and I would like to see them preserved if possible, but I also feel light enough in the wallet.  DHS could probably build a completely new facility for less and wind up with a more functional space.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:21:59 AM EST
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

No kidding.

When I got there, police were taping off a crime scene on the sidewalk. From the roof of one of the buildings I heard what was most definitely a drive-by take place.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I bet the commute there will be a bitch, and that neighborhood is Not Fun.

I've been on MLK through the place when traffic is fucked up on I-295. Yikes.

No kidding.

When I got there, police were taping off a crime scene on the sidewalk. From the roof of one of the buildings I heard what was most definitely a drive-by take place.


Welcome to Anacostia. Used to be the murder capital of the US. Still rough, but most of it go pushed in to PG County.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:24:31 AM EST
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The problems with rehabbing Kirkbride plan buildings, especially for this kind of use, include asbestos and lead paint contamination; the difficulty of retrofitting electrical, data, voice, and security hardware; and the windows.  Lots and lots and lots of windows.

They're also beasts to heat.  Their age and decoration are difficult to maintain as well.

They're really incredible buildings and I would like to see them preserved if possible, but I also feel light enough in the wallet.  DHS could probably build a completely new facility for less and wind up with a more functional space.
View Quote


That's essentially what they're doing. The problem is where would you build that set of buildings? That area is one of the few remaining areas that could handle the number of buildings and employees in the DMV area and still be accessible to the White House and Congress without having to basically kill an entire day for the trip. I'm not even sure Walter Reed could handle that ...
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:29:35 AM EST
[#32]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That was my first thought.
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Quoted:



Quoted:

A mental hospital? Seems appropriate.




That was my first thought.
My first thought is who they will interrogate in there, Orwellian style.



 
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:33:51 AM EST
[#33]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


That's essentially what they're doing. The problem is where would you build that set of buildings? That area is one of the few remaining areas that could handle the number of buildings and employees in the DMV area and still be accessible to the White House and Congress without having to basically kill an entire day for the trip. I'm not even sure Walter Reed could handle that ...
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
The problems with rehabbing Kirkbride plan buildings, especially for this kind of use, include asbestos and lead paint contamination; the difficulty of retrofitting electrical, data, voice, and security hardware; and the windows.  Lots and lots and lots of windows.

They're also beasts to heat.  Their age and decoration are difficult to maintain as well.

They're really incredible buildings and I would like to see them preserved if possible, but I also feel light enough in the wallet.  DHS could probably build a completely new facility for less and wind up with a more functional space.


That's essentially what they're doing. The problem is where would you build that set of buildings? That area is one of the few remaining areas that could handle the number of buildings and employees in the DMV area and still be accessible to the White House and Congress without having to basically kill an entire day for the trip. I'm not even sure Walter Reed could handle that ...


Sure, the result is probably about the same as building new facilities, but the way they're doing it is like building completely new facilities on a toxic waste dump.  Maybe there's no other option in terms of real estate and maybe this really does make sense, but I wouldn't determine that from DHS saying, "it makes sense."  They wouldn't know sense if it walked up to them and introduced itself... Certainly not fiscal sense.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:35:47 AM EST
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Welcome to Anacostia. Used to be the murder capital of the US. Still rough, but most of it go pushed in to PG County.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
I bet the commute there will be a bitch, and that neighborhood is Not Fun.

I've been on MLK through the place when traffic is fucked up on I-295. Yikes.

No kidding.

When I got there, police were taping off a crime scene on the sidewalk. From the roof of one of the buildings I heard what was most definitely a drive-by take place.


Welcome to Anacostia. Used to be the murder capital of the US. Still rough, but most of it go pushed in to PG County.

We used to find pistol slugs on the flight line at Anny
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:39:36 AM EST
[#35]
Don't we already have Vacant offices through out the country owned by the Fed either in receivership or EMPTY POST OFFICES...they can Skype and use cellphones to call the sole
office in DC...we have 50 states to defend.

14000 empty federal buildings..
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:40:09 AM EST
[#36]
Very fitting.   I hacked into their files and found the finalized design.





Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:40:27 AM EST
[#37]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Supposedly this project would come with some developments to the road system in that area.

But that's what the CIA told everyone in Virginia and shit didn't happen for like a decade.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I bet the commute there will be a bitch, and that neighborhood is Not Fun.

I've been on MLK through the place when traffic is fucked up on I-295. Yikes.


Supposedly this project would come with some developments to the road system in that area.

But that's what the CIA told everyone in Virginia and shit didn't happen for like a decade.


I don't see that happening.

Your choice is a new exit off I-295, which is already fucked up every morning. Or anew exit off Suitland I guess, which is already fucked up every morning.

Otherwise you're on MLK, which is two lanes, goes through a shitty place, and is also already fucked up every morning. You could widen MLK, but that would involve bulldozing houses and that's probably racist or something.


ETA: I did notice that the Green Line Anacostia metro stop is nearby, so you could walk the short....ahahahahaha, I couldn't even type that with a straight face.
ETA2: Although it does give DHS a cheap RIF option in case of future budget cuts.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:42:34 AM EST
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Don't we already have Vacant offices through out the country owned by the Fed either in receivership or EMPTY POST OFFICES...they can Skype and use cellphones to call the sole
office in DC...we have 50 states to defend.

14000 empty federal buildings..
View Quote



Well, you see, you're not cool unless you're actually located in DC.

This is, really, the only reason.

Teleconferences exist, and really only the leadership people need to be meeting face to face with anybody.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:43:43 AM EST
[#39]
So is DHS another branch of the US military now?  I don't understand why this organization exists, given that its mandate seems to be amply covered by pre-existing organizations.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:45:56 AM EST
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Our country is turning into a futuristic sci fi horror story.
View Quote



Agreed.  Truth these days is Stranger than fiction.    Write that shit into a novel, and it wouldn't even be credible.  
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:57:36 AM EST
[#41]
Gestapo HQ
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 9:01:30 AM EST
[#42]
What a waste. I wonder how they can continue construction being there's a bald eagle there, someone must have pencil whipped the environmental study.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 9:02:06 AM EST
[#43]
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Quoted:
A mental hospital? Seems appropriate.
View Quote



Came to post this.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 9:03:30 AM EST
[#44]
Fitting place for such an insane waste of taxpayer money.
BTW, if they are saying it will $4,500,000,000, plan on at least double that with the usual government waste and cost overuns.


 
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 9:35:10 AM EST
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Don't we already have Vacant offices through out the country owned by the Fed either in receivership or EMPTY POST OFFICES...they can Skype and use cellphones to call the sole
office in DC...we have 50 states to defend inflict tyranny upon.

View Quote


FIFY
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 9:41:47 AM EST
[#46]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Very fitting.   I hacked into their files and found the finalized design.
http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee367/noname123187/Mordors_DuoSpire_zps63244423.png
View Quote






 
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 9:57:19 AM EST
[#47]
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Quoted:
Gestapo HQ
View Quote


No.  Our version of Lubyanka prison.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 9:59:45 AM EST
[#48]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


So is DHS another branch of the US military now?  I don't understand why this organization exists, given that its mandate seems to be amply covered by pre-existing organizations.
View Quote
It was and will continue to be a very expensive placebo.

 
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 10:00:19 AM EST
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I don't see that happening.

Your choice is a new exit off I-295, which is already fucked up every morning. Or anew exit off Suitland I guess, which is already fucked up every morning.

Otherwise you're on MLK, which is two lanes, goes through a shitty place, and is also already fucked up every morning. You could widen MLK, but that would involve bulldozing houses and that's probably racist or something.


ETA: I did notice that the Green Line Anacostia metro stop is nearby, so you could walk the short....ahahahahaha, I couldn't even type that with a straight face.
ETA2: Although it does give DHS a cheap RIF option in case of future budget cuts.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
I bet the commute there will be a bitch, and that neighborhood is Not Fun.

I've been on MLK through the place when traffic is fucked up on I-295. Yikes.


Supposedly this project would come with some developments to the road system in that area.

But that's what the CIA told everyone in Virginia and shit didn't happen for like a decade.


I don't see that happening.

Your choice is a new exit off I-295, which is already fucked up every morning. Or anew exit off Suitland I guess, which is already fucked up every morning.

Otherwise you're on MLK, which is two lanes, goes through a shitty place, and is also already fucked up every morning. You could widen MLK, but that would involve bulldozing houses and that's probably racist or something.


ETA: I did notice that the Green Line Anacostia metro stop is nearby, so you could walk the short....ahahahahaha, I couldn't even type that with a straight face.
ETA2: Although it does give DHS a cheap RIF option in case of future budget cuts.


Metro. Trust me, no one will fuck with anyone walking from the Metro stop to DHS. If they try, it will very quickly and quietly get stomped. Plus, they will most likely have a shuttle service like DoD has a bunch of Metro stops.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 10:01:41 AM EST
[#50]


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

What an epic waste of tax payers money.......
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No shit...fuckers plainly don't care. Most Americans don't give a fuck what those cocksuckers do so long as they get their free shit.



We're becoming the Elois and the Morelocks...

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