Judging Buildings


I thought I’d round out the week with a couple more cool buildings I spotted around downtown. The one above at 1100 New York Avenue is one of my favorites. What year do you think it was built?


This one is from 950 H Street, NW that I thought was super cool because the glass part sticks out which kinda reminded me of a big sail. Dig it?

20 Comment

  • Top photo, designed in 1938.

    Bottom photo, Secret Service headquarters (I used to work next door)

  • top one is Streamline art moderne style, which peaked in the late 1930s.

  • NY Ave is the old bus station – the greyhound logo is still present in the lobby (or just outside). It’s killer on the inside, too.

  • Not sure when the top one was built, but it was the old Greyhound Bus Terminal and it opened in 1940:


  • Hey PoP, I don’t know what happened, but between the time I posted at work and came home, my post was altered. I hope you aren’t having technical difficulties.

    Anyway, if anyone is interested in a brief history of the greyhound building, you can find one on Kaleidoscope with a few more pics at: http://dckaleidoscope.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/lost-washington-11/

  • Ah, the old Greyhound Building. See, back in the mid 1970s, when the whole neighborhood went to seed and hookers trolled 14th, the whole area around the Greyhound was littered with porn shops, and burlesque theaters, and “marital aid” product stores. It had that nasty old Times Square vibe. God, I miss that old ghetto.

  • My grandmother used to take the bus down here from Brooklyn to visit us. As a New Yorker, she never learned to drive and didn’t have a car. We’d drive to the bus station and pick her up. And that part of 14th Street that monkeyerotica mentions is real. I still can’t get used to 14th Street not being the DC red light district, as it was for years, as were parts of 9th Street, near where the FBI bldg. is now. I love my old DC.

  • 70s? I remember that area still crawling with hookers well into the late ’80s…

  • ahhh, the Marion Barry-crack whore-hooker years…..

  • Wow, bringing back some memories from the not-so-good-old-days. Any other folks remember when MPD tried to march a bunch of hookers down 14th st across the bridge into VA? That was well into the late ’80’s.

  • 70s? 80s? Are you kidding?! The hookers are still there, just up a couple of blocks at 11th and K…they are there almost every weekday morning around 7:30 a.m.

  • i grew up in the burbs but remember every fourth of july when we’d go to the fireworks how you had to walk past dozens of boarded up buildings and purveyor’s of “Doc Johnson’s” marital aids. the revival of downtown is really quite remarkable.

  • Yes, it’s really quite remarkable. I remember the boarded up buildings too, the stretch along 14th Street in Columbia Heights that was a wasteland for DECADES after the ’68 riots, how desolate the U Street corridor was. DC has really had a rebirth and I’ve lived here all my life.

  • As others have mentioned, the old Greyhound bus terminal on New York Avenue opened in 1940, just 24 years before the first Arby’s opened.

  • The top building, old bus terminal as someone already said, has a gigantic underground parking garage as a result of being a bus terminal – it seems to go on forever and ever underground.

  • I liked the bus station better when it was an aluminum panel covered Burger King.

  • In 1979 I was 16 and took Greyhound from Los Angeles to PA. I had to transfer at that bus station and remember the driver telling me not to leave the terminal. I went to the bathroom and while I was at the urinal someone picked my pocket, got my bus ticket and my wallet. Fortunately I had enough cash in my front pocket to buy a ticket to get as far as York, PA where I called my parents with my last dime and told them to come pick me up. Ah, good times.

  • I understand the building is designed to look like the front of a bus. Great!

  • My company was one of the first tenants in the Greyhound Building after the renovation (1994 or 1995) – it is really nice inside the lobby as well. The architect came to a brown bag in our offices and it was fascinating to hear about how they transformed the old terminal (which is only the NY Ave side of the building), parking lot and seedy hotel (which faced H ST, I believe) and created the building they did, picking up cues from surrounding buildings.

    The old terminal is still the NY Ave side of the lobby, and if you go in you can see displays of the old building, and even the old parking spaces for the buses have been integrated into the floor of the lobby – very, very cool. IIRC, the building materials were not only supposed to look like a bus, but also echo the Chrysler Building in New York, which makes sense given the auto tie-in.

  • saf

    OntarioRoader – I remember that.

    I love that building. It’s historic too – Freedom Riders departed from there, heading south.

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