“The Old 1899 Post Office is a massive bulwark of the city’s historic charm. Without it, all that frozen bureaucracy on Pennsylvania Avenue would become unbearably oppressive. Besides, it was there first.”
— Wolf Von Eckardt
Landmark nominations of the 2010s, sponsored or co-sponsored by DCPL, included the Wonder Bread factory in Shaw, the former INTELSAT Headquarters on Connecticut Avenue NW, the interior of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the DC Recorder of Deeds Building in Judiciary Square, and the Bloomingdale Historic District.
Another important landmark nomination sponsored by DCPL during this time was Uline Arena. Constructed near Union Station in 1931, the former arena was the site of The Beatles’ legendary first concert in the United States in 1964. DCPL nominated the arena in 2003, and it received historic designation in 2006. Then, in 2014, the arena became the site of a gala celebration sponsored by DCPL to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles concert. The “Beatlemania” event drew more than 2,700 attendees and garnered national and international press attention, significantly raising the profile for DCPL with arguably the most successful event in the organization’s history. The prominent role of DCPL in local preservation matters was highlighted in early 2016 when Executive Director Rebecca Miller was featured in a cover story for The Washington Business Journal entitled, “The Practical Preservationist.”
DCPL values its longtime relationship with HPO, and one key, ongoing partnership involves the distribution of National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund grants to survey neighborhoods and conduct thematic studies of building types, including banks, warehouses, apartment buildings, firehouses, and office buildings. Among the historic districts and neighborhoods DCPL has surveyed, or administered surveys for, are Strivers’ Section, Sixteenth Street, Columbia Heights, and the 14th Street commercial district. Another important collaboration with HPO led to a series of print and online brochures chronicling the social, cultural, and architectural history of Washington’s historic districts. DCPL produced historic district brochures for Cleveland Park, Sixteenth Street, Strivers’ Section, Sheridan-Kalorama, Kalorama Triangle, Logan Circle, Greater U Street, Foggy Bottom, Mt. Vernon Triangle, and the 14th Street commercial district.
As more and more Washingtonians have looked to online sources for information about the city’s historic fabric, DCPL has responded with innovative electronic resources. In 2016, DCPL introduced DC Historic Sites, a website and free cellular phone app that serves up Washington properties listed in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and/or National Register of Historic Places. The app includes photos, short descriptions, maps, and links to further information. DCPL continually enhances the app with additional photos and information, including profiles of new landmarks as they are designated, as well as innovative tours, such as the Latinx Heritage Tour.