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United States Department of Transportation Building

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1969, Edward Durell Stone. 7th and D streets SW
  • United States Department of Transportation Building

In contrast to the HUD Building, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Building, across 7th Street, represents a commercial building type—a speculative office building that is leased to the federal government. Many such speculative buildings are constructed to the specifications of a federal agency or bureau but could be leased as readily to the private sector. While providing flexibility to the federal government by providing only as much space as it needs for a fluctuating work force, such buildings also tend to diminish the symbolism so essential to government buildings and blur the lines between the public and private sectors.

The building was designed by Edward Durell Stone, whose Kennedy Center was taking form in Foggy Bottom, and is based on a large rectangular plan, the center of which is cut out to form a courtyard plaza. On each side, an opening at the base allows for easy circulation between street and courtyard. The walls are made up of narrow vertical ribbons of windows separated by equally narrow piers, each sheathed in a white marble veneer from the same Carrara quarry in Italy as that of the Kennedy Center; the broadly overhanging eaves also echo the design of the performing arts center.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee
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Citation

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "United States Department of Transportation Building", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DC-01-SW11.

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 239-240.

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