Metro Weekly

Whitman-Walker Health announces plans for Elizabeth Taylor site

Don Blanchon (front row, fifth from left), the executive director of Whitman-Walker Health, surrounded by other dignitaries, cuts the ribbon at the dedication of the health center's new 1525 building on June 4. Photo credit: J.M. Eddins Jr. Photography.
Don Blanchon cuts the ribbon at the dedication of the new building – Photo: J.M. Eddins Jr. Photography

Whitman-Walker Health, which specializes in HIV/AIDS and LGBT-competent care, announced on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with Streetscape Partners to redevelop its Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center site, located at 1701 14th St. NW. 

The news broke on the same day that Whitman-Walker held a dedication ceremony for its newly opened health center at 1525 14th St. NW. The new building provides Whitman-Walker with a larger space, and includes a street-level pharmacy, a dental studio, and medical exam rooms. Meanwhile, Whitman-Walker’s other properties, including its Max Robinson Center in Anacostia and its STD screening clinic at the former site of Metro TeenAIDS, in the city’s Eastern Market-Barracks Row neighborhood, have remained operational.Whitman-Walker’s initial plans were for Elizabeth Taylor to house administrative offices, as well as public benefits and insurance navigation, some research studies and the Gay Men’s Health & Wellness evening STD screening clinic.

Whitman-Walker’s new joint venture with Streetscape — which Don Blanchon, Whitman-Walker’s executive director, called “another step forward in Whitman-Walker’s continuing journey towards long-term sustainability” — is set up in a way that Whitman-Walker will retain majority ownership over the site. Streetscape will be able to redevelop and renovate the Elizabeth Taylor site, but Whitman-Walker will make the final decision over any future uses of the property, such as which programs will continue to be housed or offered at the site, or whether to sublet part of the property to another nonprofit.

“Coupled with 1525, a redeveloped Elizabeth Taylor site will offer Whitman-Walker much-needed flexibility when planning for future space needs, including new and expanded patient programs, administrative services, and yet to be identified health center priorities,” said Naseema Shafi, Whitman-Walker’s deputy executive director. “This ensures that our commitment to our patients and the community we call home endures.”


Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!