"These buildings are an important part of our history and it is critical that the Army develop a comprehensive plan to halt the deterioration of these buildings." 

"It would be a tragedy if we were to lose these historic structures to neglect." 

Senator Paul Sarbanes, 1996

In 1972, the Seminary buildings were declared to be a Historic Site, which offers some (temporary?) protection against direct destruction by WRAMC, but not necessarily enough protection against "demolition by neglect." The current status of the Seminary site is not good. WRAMC says that it does not have room in its budget to maintain the buildings properly, so as a result, repairs are not made.

Damage to the roofs is probably the most pressing problem to address, since water damage has a cumulative effect. Windows have been broken in some buildings (like the Castle) and not replaced. Some windows are now boarded, and others (like the stained glass of the Chapel) have recently been protected by plexiglas (too late to protect against some earlier vandalism). Gutters are hanging useless on many buildings. An increasing amount of the floor space that was used by WRAMC has now been condemned because of rotting ceilings and floors.

the spot where Odeon playhouse stood
Unfortunately, the site is also vulnerable to attack by vandals. The destruction of the Odeon theatre is proof of that (the picture above shows where the Odeon used to be). But there are also several pedestals that used to be graced by statues which also bear witness to the potential for loss to thieves.
Teresa music hall columns, deteriorating
The 1972 Feasibility Study addressed some of the potential and problems related to restoring and preserving parts of the Seminary buildings. It recommended that certain buildings which added very little architecturally to the site be destroyed to make the maintenance burden lighter for the benefit of those with real value. Unfortunately, Odeon was one of the buildings they recommended ought to be preserved.
some rotted stairs
Senator Sarbanes (D-Md.) sponsored an amendment to the 1996 Defense Appropriations bill which requires the Army to produce a plan for stopping the deterioration of the historic buildings. That plan has not been made public as of September 1997. You can send Senator Sarbanes a message to show that you support his efforts by clicking here.

Save Our Seminary at Forest Glen is a group of volunteers who want to see this valuable part of our heritage retained in some way. They conduct tours of the grounds to show what the Seminary was all about. Unfortunately, the current state of disrepair is also obvious during these tours. Please contact them for more information about the tours and what you can do to assist their advocacy of the historic site.


This page was last maintained on 05/21/98.