WASHINGTON -- The National Capital Planning Commission voted Thursday to approve the master plan for the Department of Homeland Security headquarters to be built on the grounds of St. Elizabeths Hospital.
The plan was approved in a 9-1 vote, despite the objections of preservationists who say the huge construction project will ruin a national landmark site. The hilltop east of the Anacostia River became the site of the first federal psychiatric institution in 1852.
The $3.4 billion headquarters will be one of the largest construction projects in the Washington area since the 1940s. Supporters of the project say it will bring economic activity to a blighted part of the city.
About 14,000 Homeland Security workers currently scattered around the region will work at the new complex.