Greyhound Bus Terminal

The terminal is a classic art deco (or moderne) landmark with a streamlined 1930s look that epitomizes the promise of the industrial age as the hope for the future and the savior of civilization.

The stepped central tower, a typical "ziggurat" design, exudes freshness and optimism with its clean, triumphal lines. The smoothed corners and streamlined look of course also suggest the speed with which Greyhound's Super Coaches were to whisk you to your destination. The building's architect, Louisville-based William S. Arrasmith, designed over 50 streamlined bus stations for Greyhound in the 1930s and 1940s, and this Super Terminal may be his finest. The building's exterior is faced in Indiana limestone and neatly rimmed along its upper edges with glazed black terracotta coping. Aluminum trim and glass-block accentuate the entrance. Inside is a large, round central waiting room with stores on either side. The floor was a jazzy checkerboard terrazzo. The walls were originally partially finished in walnut and trimmed in burnished copper. Large photo murals of scenic places throughout the United States were on the upper portions of the walls. Formica in dark red, brown, and gray was used for wainscoting, columns, and counter tops.

The stretch of New York Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets NW is a wonderfully open urban space—a broad, divided east-west avenue with a triangle of parkland and busy north-south streets on either side. The spot could make for a handy transportation hub, and that is just what it did for almost half a century, hosting the Greyhound Bus Lines Super Terminal on the south side of the avenue. Thanks to the valiant efforts of the D.C. Preservation League, the Art Deco Society of Washington and the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, the former terminal, completed in 1940, survives today nearly intact as the entrance pavilion to a modern office building at 1100 New York Avenue.

Built 1939-40 (William S. Arrasmith, architect)
Restoration and addition 1989‑90
DC designation March 4, 1987

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1100 New York Avenue, NW