Annotated Bibliography 1 & 2

1. Background

The facade of BGR at Dupont Circle

Neibauer, Michael. “PNC Sells Dupont Branch for $60.75 Million.” Washington Business Journal, 4 May 2015, http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2015/03/pnc-sells-dupont-branch-for-60-75-million.html.

In this basic, mostly no nonsense article, Michael Neibauer deals with the most immediate history of the building in which BGR is a tenant: the PNC Bank branch on Dupont Circle. Originally, this building, built and formerly owned by Riggs Bank in 1923, was acquired by PNC to house a local branch of their own bank, with the bank’s leased properties staying put. However, it was sold to L&B Realty Advisors on behalf of an unnamed pension fund client. Nevertheless, PNC themselves have obtained a lease on the property to continue their business there, appearing to have offloaded the bank purely for the immediate financial gain.

This sort of information forms the backbone of any research into the underlying ideas of a place. A property’s history of ownership can tell stories of local history and help to support other narratives surrounding a place. This will likely be used to complete a more immediate understanding of a place’s history as well as provide the leads for more in depth research on this building’s history.

2. Background

The former headquarters of Riggs National Bank.

O’Brien, Timothy L. “At Riggs Bank, A Tangled Path Led to Scandal.” The New York Times, 19 July

2004. NYTimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/19/us/at-riggs-bank-a-tangled-path-led-to-scandal.html.

In this article, O’Brien details a massive scandal that implicated Riggs National Bank and ultimately lead one of the capital’s foremost financial institution into PR ruin. After the infamous events of 9/11, banks were subject to vastly increased scrutiny in a quest to find anything that could stop another major terrorist attack- and Riggs found out the hard way. For instance, a Congressional inquiry stemmed from the discovery that the bank had unquestioningly harbored a bank account for Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, and gone to lengths to hide it, including changing the name on the account when sent to regulators and sending him his money rather than freezing the account during a Congressional investigation- all for a man accused of human rights abuses. In addition, a similar issue occurred once again with another dictator- this time that of Equatorial Guinea, one Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago. Specifically, the bank blindly helped Teodoro shuttle money away from government treasuries to foreign shell companies after pursuing him as a customer, going so far as to allow a deposit of $3 million dollars in cash without question. Furthermore, similar issues of non-reporting occurred with the accounts of numerous Saudi officials, a sticking point in the post-9/11 era that likely escalated this more more than it would have been otherwise. Consequently, all this together was enough to put the final nail in the company- selling out to PNC in 2004.

This article provides a great introductory point for digging deep into the history of this building, and what it means for it to house a simple burger joint today. This kind of deep, hidden scandal is far too common in the US business world but only rarely uncovered- and when it is, all hell tends to break loose. The behavior of the bank cost them their respect and wealth, all for the pursuit of questionably sourced dollars- a fascinating case of rise and fall. Contrasting this with the simplicity of BGR may prove to be an interesting viewpoint.

MLA Citations:

Neibauer, Michael. “PNC Sells Dupont Branch for $60.75 Million.” Washington Business Journal, 4 May 2015, http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2015/03/pnc-sells-dupont-branch-for-60-75-million.html.

O’Brien, Timothy L. “At Riggs Bank, A Tangled Path Led to Scandal.” The New York Times, 19 July 2004. NYTimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/19/us/at-riggs-bank-a-tangled-path-led-to-scandal.html.

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