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Commonwealth Tower

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1971. 1995, renovation, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. 1300 Wilson Blvd.

The tower was originally a formidably ugly structure with large brown brick piers that articulated the facades and terminated in a weighty crown, a perfect example, as Benjamin Forgey observed, of a “surpassingly unlovable urban fortress.” The Washington office of SOM redesigned the facades as a bright, crisp grid of glass and added three floors. Part of the “modernist revival” of recent years, it suggests what might be done to improve some of the other monsters in the area.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Commonwealth Tower", [Arlington, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 55-55.

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