Raze Permit Issued for former Third Church of Christ Building at 16th and I St, NW, 9 Story Office Building Coming


We knew it was coming but it’s finally official – Washington Business Journal reports the raze permit was issued Friday and:

“The District issued a permit to ICG 16th Street Associates to construct a nine-story office building at 16th and Eye streets NW.”

As of Saturday a crane was already in place. Though there were some admirers and many detractors – it’s time to say goodbye.



42 Comment

  • Rave: So glad to see that gloomy chunk of failure go.

    Rant: So sad to see yet another boring “nine-story story office building.”

  • Amazing that folks tried to save this prison of misery.

    We should have a new rule in DC though. Redevelopment of office structures should include residential. We have created a lifeless “office ghetto” downtown, and our neighborhoods have little to no office. Which means the residential hoods are fairly lifeless during business hours. It would be nice to have more office in places like U Street/Logan/H Street/Barracks Row/Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights. Shaw has a little now, with UNCF and the Wonderbread Building.

    • the issue is that a lot of those places arent easily accessible and parking would be a nightmare.

      • Plenty of people don’t have cars.

        • Not most people who work in downtown DC. Most of my coworkers drive to work, which bewilders me, but they all live in the burbs.

          • Out of curiosity, do you work in the private sector? It’s been my experience that very few government employees drive to work, but maybe it’s totally different for the private sector.

          • I’m the only person in my office who doesn’t drive. But my coworkers all live outside of the Beltway so it’s not like they have a metro station near their homes. And parking at work is free, so taking public transit ends up being a lot more expensive than driving.

    • Downtown space in DC is *insanely* expensive, to the point where the only people or firms that are there are those that need to be there because of the location. It would be crazy for most people to live there. Blame the Height Act for preventing taller buildings, cheaper space, and any likelihood of a serious downtown residential area.

    • You’re right, but you’ve got it backwards – DC has done a decent job of bringing residential to previously purely office districts (or simply derelict districts): Chinatown, City Center, NOMA. The need is to bring some office space into the neighborhoods, and the Reeves center at 14/U is the perfect place to (re)start.

  • Wonder what they did with the bells?

  • Same folks arguing for the preservation of that Mies van der Rohe library? Right.

  • Was there still a congregation there, or was it completely vacant?

    • There is a congregation, and it supported the redvelopement. There will be a church space in the new building – or at least the earlier versions of it that I saw included a church space.

  • I’d rather keep something that was at least somewhat distinct and valued by someone, if the alternative is another 9 story office building. There is empty office space all. over. town. The whole area around Connecticut and K is suffering, and the last thing it needs is yet more of the same.

    • Yeah, if this was in the middle of L’Enfant Plaza, I’d have no problem tearing it down (along with everything else there). But in this location I think it looks good. It’s distinct in an area of soul-crushing sameness.

    • lovefifteen

      Washington DC has the lowest office vacancy rate in the nation.

    • you should have spoken up sooner with your checkbook in hand. the church did’t like nor could they afford this bunker. if it had real value besides abstract intellectual appeal someone would have scooped it up or moved the current building.

  • Should be “Church of Christ Scientist,” right?

  • I first read this as “Rave Permit.” A rave at a church would be interesting.

    • The Brutalist Limelight. I wish Geiger would do the inside of this church-club! His art and design would be perfect 😀

  • This is the only brutalist building in town that I actually liked, although I have to admit that it was very out of place on that particular block. I think the MLK library building is worse.

  • I was hoping it could be saved as a memorial to brutalist buildings; but I guess that is now in SW. It was more unique than another boring office building.

  • Don’t care much either way–the church wants to tear down their own property, meh. But I do have to wonder who signed off on building this thing in the first place. It must have looked fabulous on paper and that architect must have been one helluva salesman!

  • If you all liked it so much, why weren’t you attending services there. We don’t build buildings that are not useful so you can have something pretty to look at when you’re within two or three blocks of the White House.

  • jim_ed

    FWIW, this building will have an interesting architectual flourish of jagged glass in the shape of crystals for the entrance of the church. The mock ups are here –


    • those mock ups are disgusting. Why can’t architects understand that in 10 years this will be just as ugly as ever, I don’t even think it’s interesting now. “Jagged Glass”? Awesome. right.

      Please, let’s revisit real timeless architecture when building buildings that will be here for years to come.

  • Probably the most misunderstood piece of architecture in DC.

  • Hallelujah.

  • brookland_rez

    Good. It’s a ugly brutalist architecture at its worst.

  • No one hates this kind of brutalist drek more than I do, but it is a shame that it will be replaced by another bland, featureless glass box.

    A better use would have been to turn it into a “Museum of Brutalism” where visitors could be invited to spit upon renderings and models of other brutalist monstrosities and throw darts at pictures of their architects.

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