Wait a minute. Who are we kidding? Meet Frank Robinson? If you visit Hill Center, you already know Frank, our building superintendent. It’s hard to miss his warm greeting, big smile and booming voice. Frank is one of our longest tenured employees, who was part of the construction team that rescued the Old Naval Hospital from further decline and neglect, giving it new life as Hill Center. He took a few minutes to answer some questions about his time at Hill Center.
What excites you about coming to work each day?
Wow! Being a part of something bigger than yourself. Watching and working on something that people envisioned. And all of the different cultures and races using Hill Center on a daily basis is unbelievable.
Favorite memory or story of Hill Center?
Haha! There are so many memories! Like I said in the Hill Rag story, the one with Rep. John Lewis is so close to my heart. Here’s one: We had a Wounded Warrior Project event and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife Jill showed up with her Secret Service Staff. She was truly very nice to me and the staff. [My colleague] Ron and I went outside to see if they were going to park in our plaza (they didn’t!). While we were outside, we noticed that traffic was shut down both ways on Pennsylvania Avenue – and then all of a sudden a motorcade came up. We thought it was going to pass by Hill Center, but it stopped at our Pennsylvania Avenue entrance. Secret Service were suddenly everywhere! Vice President Biden stepped out of the car and shook hands with people passing by, taking photos. Later, Vice President Biden was coming down our historic stairs and he said, “There he is!” I looked around, but he was coming over to ME. I said to myself, “I hope they know HE’S hugging ME.” That’s one for the ages.
Favorite part of the building and why?
The historic staircase. It’s so beautiful. The work that had to be done…and to think, back then, it was used for everything.
If you could only tell people one thing about Hill Center, what would it be?
If you’ve never been here, come on by and take a walk through. Feel the warmth and love, along with the service, we have here!