Judging Old Buildings


Does it get any better than this? (From 16th Street.) It reminds me of same grand building I’ve seen in Nice or Marseille in southern France. What’s this style called?

8 Comment

  • It’s a “Beax Arts” building — they remind me a lot of Paris, “Academic classicism is also referred to as the Classical Revival, or Beaux-Arts Classicism (after the French Ecole des Beaux-Arts). It is a late form of Neoclassicism, with a decidedly eclectic flair. Greek and Roman models are combined with Renaissance forms. Related revivals include: Renaissance, French Renaissance, and Flemish.”

  • That’s what I like about this blog: you get an education just reading it.

  • The Old Exec Office Building is also Beaux Arts – my grandmother used to tell me that there was a movement at some point to tear the building down, as it was considered ugly and a blight on the neo-classical style of the rest of downtown. I’ve never found support for this story, though, (of course, I haven’t tried all that hard, either).

  • here is a story… i used to live down the street from there. one of my favourite buildings in DC.

    it was the original French Embassy. when they built their new one it was left for dead. abandoned and in disrepair for years. had squatters in it.

    a non profit bought it and renovated it.

    a few years ago i was horrified to find them PAINTING the outside and roof. the building is originally all carved granite and marble with a beautiful copper roof. i called the DC historical building society and they could do nothing to stop them and they were very upset about it.

    i phoned the non profit and spoke to the president of it and basically he ended up yelling at me saying “ITS MY BUILDING I CAN DO WHAT I WANT.. THIS IS AMERICA” 🙁

    so now all its intricate carved details and copper roof is painted grey.


  • I’ve always heard the OEOB described as “Second Empire” style (according to Google, the White House backs me on this, but I don’t trust those bastards for a second) but they’re clearly closely related — mansard roofs, pillars and all.

  • What’s the name of the company that owns it?

  • beaux arts…

  • I agree wholeheartedly PoP – for exterior beauty it really doesn’t get than Old Buildings such this one.

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