Warner Theatre Building (and Interior)

1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

This ten-story theater and office building, originally known as The Earle and now currently known as the Warner Theatre, was designed in 1924 by noted theater architect C. Howard Crane and his New York partner Kenneth Franzheim. The building is designed in the Renaissance Revival style with rich terra cotta ornamentation. Multi-purpose in program, the building originally and currently contains both theater and office spaces.

An 11th-story office addition was constructed in 1927 and was utilitarian in design and set back from the original facades as designed by John J. Zink. This addition is not consistent with the 1924 design by Crane and Franzheim. In 1992, the Earle was renovated, this addition was demolished, and a new non-contributing addition was consturcted.

The interior of the building is designed in the French Renaissance style with lavish surface treatment and abundant gilding. Classical forms, such as barrel vaults, engaged pilasters, and arched openings, articulate the interior spaces of the entrance lobby, foyer, auditorium, and stage. A "hard-top" theater by definition, the auditorium space is elaborately embellished within the traditional theater form. The ceiling and wall treatment is continuous throughout the auditorium. Mythical figures, musical instruments, plant forms, animals, lanterns, and urns are carved in gilt against backgrounds of green and rose.

DC designation: May 18, 1983
Redesignated: August 7, 1985
Theater interior designated: August 7, 1985

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1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (501‑515 13th Street, NW)