Maryland Board of Public Works OKs Crownsville Hospital Center transfer to Anne Arundel County

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The long-abandoned Crownsville Hospital Center property was transferred from the state of Maryland to Anne Arundel County by the Board of Public Works on Wednesday, enabling the county to start cleaning and renovating the property.

All three board members, Gov. Larry Hogan, Treasurer Dereck Davis and Comptroller Peter Franchot, voted for the transfer.


“As stewards of Crownsville, we have an obligation to continue to tell the story of racism and the pain it caused, while helping lift up the stories of those who worked and lived there,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said in a statement following the board’s vote.

Obtaining the property has been a long-standing mission of Pittman’s throughout his four years in office. He plans to use parts of the property as a nonprofit incubator and wellness center and to create a memorial site for the Black Marylanders who were admitted to the center for mental illnesses and forced to do manual labor on the site, according to historians.


The 459-acre parcel and 69 buildings went through a lengthy process to get into the hands of the county. Earlier this year, the Board of Public Works voted to designate the property surplus after it was offered to every state agency. None accepted the offer..

Pittman plans to use the $30 million the county received for the project during this year’s Maryland legislative session for asbestos remediation and renovation costs.

Pittman, who is seeking a second term as county executive this fall, had previously said the funding to rehabilitate the more than century-old hospital was “our number one priority” but acknowledged the renovations will require significantly more than $30 million to complete.

“We also have an opportunity, a chance to shape the future of Crownsville as the green and healing heart at the center of our county,” Pittman said.

Around $3.5 million was allocated in the recently passed fiscal 2023 county budget to create the nonprofit center. Council Republicans Amanda Fiedler, from Arnold, and Jessica Haire, from Edgewater, argued the money should instead be used to expand the services of Pascal Crisis Stabilization Center.

The hospital was established in 1911 and operations there ended in 2004. More than 1,700 people are buried on the property based on information local historian Janice Hayes-Williams and others have gleaned from death certificates. The names of those people will be inscribed on a granite wall at the cemetery, she said, as part of the Crownsville Hospital Memorial Park that Pittman has planned for the space.