What Should Become of The Manhattan?

While we’re talking about the future of phenomenal buildings – I’ve also always been in love with The Manhattan located at 1328 Florida Ave, NW. Back in July we learned that the current tenant, the Meridian Public Charter school, would be renovating and moving into the old Harrison School at 13th and V St, NW. Back in 1999 it was home to the first Art o Matic. When the school moves out – what do you think would be the best use for this great building?

30 Comment

  • Giant laser tag arena!

  • It’s going to be an incubator for DC tech firms. It was all over the news a few weeks back, when I believe you were in Paris. Douglas Development is basically donating it for the use temporarily.

    • Six months…but what about after that?

      • It’s a Jemal property, which means after those six months, it will sit empty and start to deteriorate again, for an undetermined number of years.

    • Where did you hear this was temporary? The co-work space going in (Geekeasy) is currently doing some rennovation on the second floor and will be renting out office space soon. Seems like a lot of work for a six-month project.

  • I wish the city would purchase it and appoint a well-paid board to hold events in it 1-3 times a month – nothing gay, though. That’s just tacky.

  • Whatever it becomes I hope they don’t change the facade. I’ve always loved it-it is so Miami-in-D.C.

  • Art gallery. Brunch. Martinis. DJs. lights. Dancing. Nah . . .

  • @Eckingtonite and @KenyonDweller

    Very funny guys (or gals). Made me LOL.

  • Is there any chance the Mayor can give the bulding’s lucrative lawnmowing contract to a small and disadvantaged DC business? I’d hate to see those shrubs trimmed by someone who knows what they’re doing.

  • I don’t know why you guys like this building. I walk by there almost daily and I think it is an eyesore. Maybe it just needs to be cleaned up and painted it will look better…


  • Anonymous prefers Reston Town Center or Disneyland.

    • No. I think I like a more modern/contemporary look.

      What I think I dislike about this building is that it is so flat. There is no depth to the facade.

      I don’t think that green looks very good and it really needs to be cleaned or something. It is very dingy.

  • From the website…

    Geekeasy is an experiment in allowing social media and Internet companies to co-work, collaborate and come together in DC.

    Located right in the Chilli Bowl, in the historic Manhattan Laundry building, Geekeasy will offer offices, individual work spaces, and a comfortable co-working lounge to the community which can be used to cook up the next big thing during the day and social media events on nights and weekends.


  • How about a subway. There aren’t enough in this area.

  • Another school. God knows DC needs more halfway decent ones.

    That, or a juvenile incarceration center for all of the criminals-in-training, who are currently in the other DC schools.

    • andy

      Another school is a good answer.

    • DCPS is about to embark on another series of school closures, so I wouldn’t expect a public school there. Perhaps another charter could go in, but the Meridian Public Charter school will be just across the street, so not sure if it’s needed.

      • andy

        are you sure you don’t mean, DC will announce school closures, but then have to take it all back because DC locals with their kids in underenrolled schools will fight it?

        • Perhaps that’s what I meant, but I seem to remember DC parents not being able to successfully fight the closures proposed in the last round of closures. Certainly not the Bruce-Monroe parents at least!

  • Presumably it was originally apartments, right?

    Couldn’t it be apartments again, or condos?

    I agree that it’s looking dingy at the moment, but it is an interesting Art Deco building.

    • It was originally Manhattan Laundry, with laundry facilities on the bottom level, and the company’s offices on upper floors. It was built in a style that was not widely adopted in DC, so it is very unique architecturally.

  • houseintherear

    Anything that keeps the jackholes from stopping traffic on Florida Ave to let their kids out every morning will be a huge upgrade in my book.

  • If it is a good space, I hope Mundo Verde is considering it. Proximity to another school seems like a fairly irrelevant consideration when determining charter school locations, whereas prior use as a school would likely be a big plus.

  • Glad to hear that the Harrison School isn’t going to sit empty.

  • austindc

    Can we turn it into a giant fish tank?

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