The Army Corps of Engineers delayed demolishing the AU-owned house at 4825 Glenbrook Rd. The demolition was scheduled to begin in May.
The Army Corps finalized details of the demolition on July 12. Spring Valley specialist and Army Corps public affairs spokesperson Andrea Takash said these details included:
• the parameters of the demolition,
• ways to inform the public of the demolition and
• protecting the public in case harmful chemicals are resurrected
“We have no date on when we’re breaking ground,” Takash said. “We’re working closely with AU, who owns the property, to determine the exact date.”
4825 Glenbrook Rd. has become an infamous address in Northwest D.C. The AU-owned house sits on former WWI Army testing grounds and will become the site of an upcoming cleanup by the Army Corps.
History of 4825 Glenbrook Rd.
At the start of the WWI, most of AU’s campus was undeveloped. But in April 1917, AU’s Chancellor, Bishop John Hamilton, gave President Woodrow Wilson 92 acres of University land for any purpose the army or the government saw fit. With the arrival of 2,100 Army soldiers, that summer the site was dubbed “Camp American University.”
The Mary Graydon Center became the U.S. government’s largest chemical warfare research lab, where they manufactured gas bombs and projectiles filled with explosive material. In 1919, some projectiles were set up in what is now the intramural soccer field and fired into the forest.
Much of the debris from these tests was left in the then vacant land. After the war, it was paved over into the neighborhood that includes Glenbrook Road, Sedgwick Street and Rockwood Parkway.
Another advisory board meeting is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 11.