I’m a member of the DC Preservation League. Last night, I headed downtown to the DC Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation. I had never been to a major preservation event before, so I was pretty excited.
Mayor Vincent Gray congratulated winners, which included the War of 1812 Archaeology Projects, Bob & Susan Meehan of The Clara, the Meridian Int’l Center, the Annual Conference on DC Historical Studies, the Howard Theatre, and John Bellingham. For Design & Construction, the winners were the Brownley Building, Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, the Embassy of the Republic of Argentina, the O & P Sts. Rehab Project, and the Peirce Mill. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to activist Ann Hughes Hargrove. “I fear people have become too complacent about their neighborhoods…” she said, and challenged attendees to continue preservation’s mission. The SHPO’s Award went to the National Academy of Sciences.
The 1924 HQ’s neoclassical “Alexandrian”-style Building at 21st & Constitution, designed by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, underwent a major restoration and conservation effort recently. The gilding shone on the central rotunda above us during the reception in its Great Hall. I peeked into muraled rooms and had a great time talking to Bill Rice of The Georgetown Dish about streetcars and the Washingtoniana collection. And yes, there were hors d’oeuvres. Mmm…salmon mousse! Glad I went.