Yesterday, the National Capital Planning Commission approved the Department of Homeland Security’s plans to develop the campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital. As I’ve written about in the past, historic preservationists are highly protective of the site, a former insane asylum, Civil War hospital, and home to “the man who tried to shoot PresidentAndrew Jackson, the man who did shoot President Theodore Rooseveltand, of course, the man who grievously wounded President Ronald Reagan,” as the Washington Post wrote in June 2007.

According to the yesterday’s Post, “Fifty-two of the 62 historic structures on the grounds would be renovated and used by the agency, including the Center Building, a red-brick structure in the Gothic-revival style that was designed by Thomas U. Walter, the architect responsible for the U.S. Capitol dome.”

The Post’s article points toward the next big question looming over the city:

Will the new complex actually spur economic development in Ward 8? Or is it just an empty promise that DHS workers will actually spend money in the area?

Image by wageslaves, Flickr Creative Commons