old buildings amidst change

I’ve been to Washington, DC, quite a bit recently. I like the “District” and have a lot of fond memories from when we lived there. I did my architectural apprenticeship in the city and worked on a lot of facade renovation projects. New skin, entrance lobby, elevator cabs and floor lobbies – repeat. Eventually, I had enough and needed to leave.

While I never accepted the then common excuse (I’ve no idea if it is still used today) that the District’s height restriction is responsible for the city’s less than compelling architectural design, the height restriction clearly drives the practice of re-skinning office building exteriors rather than demolition and new construction.

It appears now that the trend among office buildings in Washington, DC, these days is glass. We used to use a lot of stone – granite, limestone, etc.

In the area around the convention center, change is happening in a big way. There is still a substantial amount of historic building fabric remaining in the area but who knows for how long. Hopefully, all of it doesn’t disappear. It was good to see that some of the nearby historic buildings were undergoing renovations.

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