Category: National Gallery of Art

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

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Washington Monument, flanked by East Wing of National Gallery of Art.

IMG_0031Robert Mills won the competition for the Washington Monument in 1836, but it was not until the late 19th century that construction was completed, delayed by various problems, especially raising money for construction.

I.M. Pei designed the second building for the National Gallery of Art in the late 1960s.  Its modernist architecture of flat facades and sharp angles is in marked contrast to John Russell Pope’s Classical Revival building, started in the late 1930s and finished in the 1940s, after his death, by his associates.

(c)Bill Lebovich, all rights reserved, 2013