03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Homeland Security Dept. Wants "Abandoned Insane Asylum" As New HQ

Once the first Government Hospital for the Insane, the western campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital today is an overgrown hillside of dilapidated brick buildings overlooking the Potomac and Anacostia rivers in Washington, D.C. It's both spooky and grand, but the scene would change if the Department of Homeland Security gets its way.

With thousands of employees spread over 50 locations in the area, the young federal agency is seeking approval to consolidate its operations in a $3 billion complex on the St. Elizabeths site, the largest chunk of federal property left in Washington. Agency officials say it is the only site large enough to accommodate its workforce--a staff that needs a "common culture."

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