For example, the 2006 guide has these inadequacies:
- There is only one building by Phil Esocoff with a wavy wall. Two, if you count the more pomo 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue from before he opened his own practice. Either way, a visitor would have no idea what Massachusetts Avenue looks like.
- There are only a handful of glass boxes. Neither Rogers Stirk Harbour’s elegant 300 New Jersey Avenue nor Kevin Roche’s tetrisy Lafayette Tower had been built. Neither had their hundreds of imitators.
- The National Money Hole, a prime example of what Rem Koolhaas calls “Junkspace” had not been outfitted in the luxurious marbles we expect of the nation’s Capitol, and was mostly an actual hole.
- Division 1 no longer universally evokes military service.
- Bing Thom is now the architect everyone pretends to know all about, but back then, he was just a faint goblin told to scare the locals who were sure they’d get a crack at Harry Weese’s Arena Stage.
- H Street? Where’s that? David Adjaye? Where’s he from?
No, actually, there have been a lot of architecturally notable buildings built in DC over the past six years. Looking back, it’s kind of insane how much capital was invested in DC real estate. If you’re more interested, G. Martin Moeller, the author, was on Kojo Nnamdi’s show last week. The interview is worth listening to, if you’re unfamiliar with the guide. And the guide is definitely worth having and understandable to the laity.