Now that most of the Department of Transportation has moved into the brand-spanking new Head Quarters in SE, we are surprised how much influence the style of architecture is having on the new building projects that are going up.
The exterior mix of brick, concrete, and painted steel gives the buildings a similar look to what you find in most of the new construction in the Penn Quarter, which in many ways is serving as a blue print of how to rebuild a once neglected area of the city (Though SE is much more neglected than the PennQ area ever was).
Since the DOT HQ building is one of the first fully realized reconstruction projects in the area around the new Nationals Stadium, they had the opportunity to define the “new” look of the neighborhood. Frankly, we like the style, though its hard to put a name to it, it fits in nicely with some of the historic, all brick structures that are being preserved in the area. At least in this area, we think it’s a better choice than the all glass wall monstrosities that builders can get away further downtown.
As more blocks in the area are transformed from auto shops and parking lots to new buildings, we hope that with a little variety, the new buildings will help define the neighborhood as having a consistent feel, and not a mishmash of renewed urban development.