The Washington Post, a widely circulated newspaper native to D.C., occupies the building at 1301 K Street NW. It is located in downtown D.C. among the tall gray structures that constitute the corporate neighborhood. It is here that reporters, editors, and all other vital employees can come together in a creative space and produce the news in a variety of
media formats. From the McPherson Square metro stop, I walked just a few city blocks to the Post’s headquarters. The large back-lit letters on the top of the tower reading “The Washington Post” stood out against the growing darker sky. I followed the light past upscale restaurants with diners in button-downs and nice dresses and past established law offices to the building in question.
I nearly walked right by the building as well. At street level, the only indication of what lay inside is a small sign fixed onto the column next to the glass revolving door. About thirty feet up, another sign illuminates the newspaper’s name to catch the eye of a more distant audience. Almost twenty feet of golden-framed windows separate the door from the sign above, giving passersby a glimpse into the grand entry way, featuring tall columns and an art deco chandelier. What remains of the outside, however, is rather boring; gray stone slabs give the building an unassuming look that camouflages it in the surrounding concrete jungle.
The sidewalk in front of the building is wide and accommodated the young and middle-aged business professionals gathering for dinner and a night
out in the District at the time. During the day, I assume similar people would inhabit this space going to and from the office to finalize a piece or find a new story. Unfortunately, the laid-back attitude of the people walking around did not extend to the few homeless men that rested against the building; they’re surrounded by million-dollar offices and luxury hotels but the success of the area seems to have left them out. Trees intermittently line this sidewalk (blissfully unaware of the capitalist structures and hierarchies that surround them), and in the street a well-landscaped median strip is home to more of this city grove. Additional greenery can be found across the road in a small park that sits between 1301 K Street and the similar buildings that make up the block. The pop of color provided a respite from all of these gray commercial buildings.
Although it serves its function as an office space, the building does nothing to serve an aesthetic appeal. Even while looking directly at it, I found myself welcoming the distractions of the night. The distant chatter of the restaurant on the corner, the slight breeze that was brushing past and making the night just a little bit too cold, and the honking cars at the intersections on either side of the block were all far more interesting than the bland structure that stood in front of me. What lay inside may be a hub of innovative journalism but the outside does nothing to inspire.
*Still working on how to best format the pictures without leaving the gaps in text.*