District of Columbia Municipal Center and Plaza

This municipal center is an exemplar of the Classical Moderne style common among Public Works Administration buildings.

This was the first building constructed according to plans developed during the 1920s for a civic center between Judiciary Square and Pennsylvania Avenue. The building was designed by municipal architect Nathan C. Wyeth and constructed with the aid of Public Works Administration funds between 1939 and 1941.

Notable features include the cast aluminum revolving doors and abstracted classical columns, capitals, and moldings. In the interior courtyards are two enormous ceramic sculptural panels: Democracy in Action by Waylande Gregory and Health and Welfare by Hildreth Meiere. Flanking the plaza steps to the west of the building are two granite bas-relief sculptural panels: Urban Life by John Gregory, and Light, Water, and Thoroughfare by Lee Lawrie. In the south lobby floor is a terrazzo map of the District of Columbia, and near the north entrance is an octagonal fountain by the John J. Earley Studio (dedicated in 1980 as the Washington Area Law Enforcement Memorial).

DC Inventory: Feb 22, 2018
National Register: July 19, 2019

Within Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site

Images

Map

300 Indiana Avenue NW