Hall of Government

From GW Encyclopedia

Hall of Government, 1938

Building

Title: Hall of Government

Address: 710 21st Street, N.W.

Square and lot, bordering streets: Square 79, lot 845 (G, H, 21st, 22nd Streets)

Architect: Waldron Faulkner

Date of construction: 1938

Original owner: George Washington University

Description: The Hall of Government was the gift of Mrs. Henry Alvah Strong, Trustee of the University. The cornerstone was laid on May 18, 1938, and was built by Charles H. Tompkins. An addition to the building, which connects with Monroe Hall, was finished in the 1970s. Designed by Washington architect, Waldron Faulkner, it well illustrates the character of institutional buildings being constructed in the city during the 1930s. While the form and line make a severe statement, the limestone facing and the application of subtle ornamental detail enrich an otherwise stern edifice. The building is seven bays wide and four stories high, complementing the contemporaneous structures on G Street. The vertical, limestone piers read on one plane, and the horizontal metal spandrels, recessed behind them, create a visual tension that unites the disparate parts into one object. This unity is further articulated by the fluted molding which connects the surface of the facade to the plane of the windows. An Art Deco allegorical figure is set into a square panel over the door which is flanked by limestone plinths and benches.

Formerly on the square: Social Science Hall

Historic designation: None

Document Information

Images: 1
Photographic Credit: GW University Historical Photographs Collection
Author or Source: Application for Historic Building Registry, 1974; Reconnaissance-Level Architectural Survey of Properties in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C., 1999 (RG0063, Series 10, Box 1, Folder 3).
Document Location: University Archives
Date Added to Encyclopedia: December 21, 2006
Prepared by: Lyle Slovick


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Special Collections
Research Center

Gelman Library
The George Washington University
2130 H Street, NW Suite 704
Washington, DC 20052
202-994-7549

Please send us your questions and comments about the encyclopedia:
archives@gwu.edu