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DC's Coolest Historic Designs
April 3, 2013

DC's Coolest
Historic Designs

Washington is full of old buildings, not just old people, so we polled some of DC's design and architecture experts on their favorites.

Leo A Daly's Lewis Goetz like National Building Museum for its monumental interior atrium and Italian Renaissance design. (Somewhere Michelangelo is smiling—although if he's capable of that, we suspect he's busy trying out iPad Artist.)
Moseley (Multifam) MDCRE

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Lewis also says design elements of the Federal Triangle (like the Department of Commerce's HQ, above) successfully stand the test of time, as the early-20th century designers looked to Europe as a model for how to beautify the city. (That's why the building next door is actually pronounced the Roh-nauld Rea-gaahn building.)
CohnReznick (May6) MDC

FOX Architects founder Bob Fox is partial to The Barr Building (910 17th St), the Stanley Simmons-designed office building that delivered in 1926. Bob says it's a "classic Gothic-style office building" towering over Farragut Square.

Bob's also a fan of the historic Octagon House at 1799 New York Ave (built in the 19th Century and designed by Capitol architect William Thornton), as well as the building directly behind it, the American Institute of Architects HQ (a little less historic having been built in 1973, but with "one of the best courtyards in DC," he says).

Wingate Hughes principal Gavin Daniels loves the Wonder Bread Factory (641 S St, being renovated by owner Douglas Development)—not only for its 1913 warehouse/loft design, but also for how it fits in to the surrounding Shaw and U Street neighborhoods. He tells us he's glad the renovated version can maintain its historic nature but remain a relevant design and become part of the community.

What's your favorite historic design? Email chris.baird@bisnow.com with suggestions and we'll print the best answers.

Pentagon Row's New Look

The plaza at Federal Realty's Pentagon Row is getting a facelift. Yesterday, the Rockville-based REIT started work on a major renovation, to include a bigger ice rink, spruced up outdoor dining areas, and even more retail space, according to Mid-Atlantic COO Robin McBride. Federal Realty's been looking at renovating the space since last year, Robin says, since the property "was beginning to show its age." She adds it saw an opportunity to differentiate the plaza and make it more vibrant.

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A rendering of the new digs. (Painting the buildings white will be handled by Tom Sawyer Development.) As for the new retail, Robin says restaurants are ideal but doesn't rule out other options. Federal Realty will phase out the construction and hopes to have things wrapped up in time for the grand opening of the ice rink this fall.

JBG Makes Silver Spring Buy

JBG has added 450 more units to its residential arsenal, announcing yesterday it's purchased the Falkland Chase apartments in Silver Spring from Home Properties for an undisclosed price. (Thanks to those trees, a lot of the building is undisclosed.) Falkland Chase is JBG's only residential property in the Silver Spring submarket, according to its website.

The Mafia Gives Back

The Blonde Real Estate Mafia (and co-founders Nicole Thomas of Herman Miller and Megan Kindle of FOX Architects, middle) hosted over 120 real estate pros at Irish Whiskey last night to raise money for prostate cancer foundation ZERO. Nicole—flanked by Cushman & Wakefield's Jon Lawrence and JLL's Frank Mobilio—tells us the event raised over $5,500.

Today is funny man Eddie Murphy's birthday. We'll be wearing our red leather suit all day in celebration. But without looking it up, who can guess how old he is? Email chris.baird@bisnow,com

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