NPR – Moving on Up

635 Massachusetts Ave, NW

From Chinatown (above) to NoMa (below).

From NPR’s website:

The new NPR headquarters comprises two integrated blocks: the bulk of a historically preserved four-story 1920’s era warehouse and a new, modern seven-story office block that rises behind. Designed by the Washington D.C.-based architectural firm Hickok Cole, and built by Balfour Beatty Construction, the building contains approximately 330,000 square feet of above-grade space and 440,000 total square feet. It will accommodate NPR’s DC-based staff of approximately 767 that is currently spread across three buildings – 635 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, and two nearby leased locations.

The heart of the building is a two-story open newsroom with broadcast and production studios to accommodate NPR’s round-the-clock schedule. NPR’s news, music, programming and digital staff are co-located on these floors. In addition to serving as center for NPR’s operations, the building is also home to the Public Radio Satellite System, an independent distribution system that moves public radio content across the country.

Visitors will enter the building through a landscaped plaza. Upon entering they will find an exhibit and a multimedia mosaic dedicated to NPR’s story, a performance studio that seats up to 250, and the NPR Commons, an events space for small groups and site of the NPR Shop. NPR expects to host many public events in the new headquarters.

The 1111 North Capitol building is expected to earn LEED Gold certification; environmentally sensitive features include a green roof and highly efficient cooling system to support energy conservation, and a system that captures street run-off within the tree-pits adjacent to North Capitol Street.

NPR established its current headquarters at 635 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, in 1994, before Gallery Place became a prime development zone and popular destination. Since then, NPR’s stature as a media organization and its popularity have grown rapidly and its weekly audience doubled.

1111 North Capitol Street, NE



23 Comment

  • This is awesome. Amazing that its right across the street from the blocks that people keep getting shot.

  • The pictures don’t do the new building enough justice but it looks REALLY good at night going north on N Capitol. I gave an outloud “Wow” when passing it for the first time 2-3 weeks back. It gives off a nice color display similar to the Discovery buildilng in downtown Silver Spring. Great addition to that area.

    • I agree. And considering downtown Silver Spring almost got NPR to move there too I’d say NoMa got extra lucky. Silver Spring ended up okay too – the “Ripley District” which NPR was supposed to move to immediately switched tracks and they’ve already got 2 luxury highrises (1 completed) and 1 loft building going up in NPR’s place.

    • Agreed. Looked fabulous the other night; first time I saw it in the dark.

  • They did a great job on this building, and I’m happy that the old Smithsonian warehouse was preserved as well. One suggestion: present the news in headline format on the Trans-Lux, which would be a lot more useful. It looks like they’re running full transcripts of news stories, and not many people are going to stand on the sidewalk reading the Trans-Lux for ten minutes. [Cue inevitable drive-by shooting jokes.]

  • Where was NPR located previous to the Mass Avenue location?

    • interesting question. i assumed that from the ford foundation money ( and fed money?) , and the transfer from their previous entity, they had enough cash for that building from the get-go.

    • Georgetown

      • Not exactly. NPR was at 2025 M Street, NW, at least since the late ’70s until moving to Mount Vernon Square.

  • The new building is very impressive at night.

  • Apparently, the old building on Mass is scheduled to be demo’d in April……..

  • To support NPR is to support its privatization!

    brought to you by “friends of NPR”

  • They finally got a piece of the pie.

  • Hi honey,

    Here is an article with pictures for NPR new building.

  • are they officially moved in? Great addition to the neighborhood, i agree!

Comments are closed.