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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

The New P.O.: 1900

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The New P.O.: 1900

Washington, D.C., circa 1900. "U.S. Post Office, Pennsylvania Avenue." The Old Post Office back when it was new. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

 

Ours was saved!

A similar Federal Building in Saint Paul was saved. It is now the Landmark Center and is where I work!

It's Still There

And a nice place to visit. Right in the middle of the downtown tourist area. Open to the public, the central atrium now has shops and eateries. The last time I was there, I rode the elevator to the top of the tower where you could look down on "The Avenue" from those arched openings. I hope that is still available.

21st Century Turret

Today, the turret of the Old Post Office is used as a microwave relay site by many of the network and local broadcasters in the Washington area. Boasting a good line of sight from much of the downtown DC area, they can point their live truck antennas at the tower, where the signals are relayed (via fiber optics) to their studios around town.

A New Sensation

This building has undergone a major transformation in recent years. Inside is a food court with diverse offerings, and a shopping mall. There are tours given up to the clock tower which is either the second or third highest elevation in the city, after the Washington Monument, of course. I think there may be some nightlife available here, too. Glad they saved this historic building. I hope this becomes a trend.

Room With a View

If you visit DC, it is well worth the trip to see the inside of the Old Post Office as well. The tower still affords a great view of Washington and the surrounding area. Of course, one of the great benefits of DC is that so much one can do there is free of charge.

Room at the top

The real treat in this building is the top of the bell tower. There is a bell chamber complete with bells, about where the clocks are, and above that is a viewing space (the three arched openings on each side) with great views of the DC area. Easy to access and usually not as many standing in line since everyone goes to the Washington Monument. The thankfully never-to-be-completed Federal Triangle complex is on the back and nearside of this building; the 3 and 4 storey buildings are long gone.

Old P.O. Tower

A couple years back, during some sort of food fair on Pennsylvania Avenue, we were lucky enough to go to the top of the tower. Half my brain was damning the waste of public money and the other half was saying, "Wow! What a great view!"

Inspiration

for Disney buildings to come perhaps. Dave, any chance that seafood place on the left is called Harvey's?

[Harvey's Oyster House. - Dave]

Sanctuary

If you are in fear for your life, head for the turret. They can't corner you there.

Harvey's Restaurant

Lower left corner, Harvey's was one of the top restaurants in DC and hosted most notable politicians, entertainers and business leaders in its day. My mother was taken there (not the same location) on a date when she was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base in the early 1950s. Here is a link to some of the history.

Dark Shadows at the PO

This ca. 1908 color litho postal card of the Old Post Office at night lends the building a forbidding Gothic spookiness that fades in the daylight. Cue the Bach organ Toccata! Release the bats!

Still more turrets out here in palm tree land

Several San Diego neighbors have a turret rooms in their 1920s Spanish Colonial houses facing Balboa Park. They all use them for displaying their Christmas trees for passers-by to enjoy; sadly, the rest of the year they mostly stand unused.

Former home of the FBI

Before the FBI moved to its own building, it maintained offices in the Old Post Office. My late father was a special agent at the Washington Field Office for 25 years and worked out of this building. A couple times a year my mother would drive my brother and me into Washington to pick him up. We parked in an inner courtyard and we kids watched for my dad to come out of that confection of a building. All the agents wore dark suits, trenchcoats, white shirts, ties and fedoras. Then we would drive up to the DuPont Circle area to our favorite restaurant, Pouget's, for drinks and dinner (Shirley Temples for my brother and me). That was long ago.

Turrets are cool

I agree with tterrace that they would make an interesting work or living space, but they sure are a tough place to hang pictures!

What was in those turrets

I've always been curious as to what kind of space it was inside those small turrets. Offices? Sitting areas? Would be cool to see an inside shot looking out.

If this is a poll:

I’m a turreteer too!
An old mill with a working wheel would do too. (wind or water)

Gargoyles, please

We need a few gargoyles to go with those turrets. The spires on the roofs are too plain for all that decorative fenestration.

Surely the spirits of all those broiled alive lobsters in the foreground building, could be channeled into appropriate energies to produce the gargoyles.

As for the foreground building, it appears to be beautiful, from what I can see of it. Any chance it survived the wrecking ball? (I kinda doubt it, but I can hope).

*#!!#*!! Turrets

You're not #!#*! alone tterace. I think there'a a lot of
*#!!##* people who would like to enjoy some ##!!*! time working or relaxing in a !!*#! turret room!

Turrets syndrome

Am I the only one who has this strange yearning to live or work in a turret?

 
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