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Judging Buildings/What the Helen of Troy is This?

by Prince Of Petworth November 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm 14 Comments

I was admiring this building from the Old Soldiers Home (by Rock Creek Church Rd and Webster St, NW) when I couldn’t figure out what was up with the watch tower up top. So first – is that a watch tower up top or some sort of gigantic chimney? Does it look like it was added at a later time to the structure? Any speculation on why something like that was added?

I still think it’s a pretty sweet building.

Couple more shots including a closeup after the jump.

  • Curtis

    That’s the Grant Building, but I have no clue what that is on top of it.

  • Mitch

    It’s there to keep the old people in!

  • Nemo

    Crematorium Smoke Stack

  • Developer


  • Carijudy

    Fire lookout?

  • tj

    Water tower?

  • Anonymous

    The Grant Building is massive and abandoned not to mention totally surreal inside, in a bad way. That roof might be a cheap way to keep water from destroying the tower / everything below it.

  • MJ

    The closeup reveals its purpose. The tower is there so the pigeon shit can be consolidated into a manageable area.

  • Truth

    * Grant Building

    Begun in 1911, the Grant Building was built as a barracks, mess hall, and recreation center.

  • Angry Parakeet

    It would be an incinerator chimney from an era when all the garbage was burnt on site for that facility and used partly as fuel for heating. Surprising how many apartment buildings have the remains of incinerators, and not just really old ones.

  • PT Varnum

    C’mon. It’s a pagoda.

  • dc_publius

    Really small pop-up?

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to put my money on an incinerator chimney (maybe for medical waste but I don’t know what the building was used for). Obsolete for decades.

  • Steve

    Sweet place to have that morning cup of coffee.


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