Month: November 2016

It looks ominous for the Nation’s Capital and the Nation

National Bank of Washington.jpg

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1785 Massachusetts Ave.,NW

Designed by Jules Henri deSibour, one of Washington,DC’s finest architects of the early 20th century, 1785 was home to Andrew Mellon when he was Secretary of Treasury. It is believed he occupied the entire top floor.  The British Art Dealer Lord Duveen rented the floor below and displayed his art collection.  He invited Mellon to view it and the approach worked.  Mellon bought the collection, which became the basis of National Gallery of Art.

The building was the headquarters of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  As the Trust was selling the building, the Trust hired me to photograph the building for the HABS Collection at the Library of Congress.  I took more than 200  4 x5 black and white archival processed negatives and an archival print of each negative.

The American Enterprise Institute bought the building, joining Brookings, John Hopkins,and Carnegie Institute as some of the think tanks along this section of Massachusetts Ave., between 17th and 18th Streets.

The first photo (black and white) is from April 2014.  The second photo is from November 2016.DC-265 7.jpg1785 Mass AEI.jpg

Hearst Tower

Designed by Norman Foster, this 2006 skyscraper is dramatically different than any building built at the time.  And I think it broke the mold for how skyscrapers should look.  No more or at least less regular grids of verticals and horizontals in NYC high rise.  Now, more glass, with twists as the building rises or changes in massing.

The Hearst Tower sits on a six story base (in the shadows)  built in 1928.  It has been described as Art Deco,but it is at least as much fortress like.IMG_5064.jpg

Flatiron Building

Designed by famous Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, and completed in 1902, Flatiron (originally Fuller) Building is one of the best known buildings in American architectural history. Burnham succeeded in using 19th century classical revival architectural style to decorate a 20th century engineering wonder. In lesser hands, it would have looked like a wedding cake on drugs.IMG_5060.jpg