Western Union Building (Commercial National Bank)

The Commercial National Bank, designed by noted Washington architect Waddy B. Wood in 1917, is an excellent, early example of the simplified and stylized classicism that distinguishes some of Washington's most noteworthy early 20th century buildings.

The abstract classical vocabulary displayed here in 1917 reappears again and again in Washington in the 1920s and 1930s. The originality of Commercial National Bank's stylized classical vocabulary and the subtlety of its expression makes it unique for this early date. This powerful building marks an important transition from Waddy Wood's earlier, more literal use of traditional architectural forms to the boldness and abstraction of his later buildings.

Commercial National Bank was among the first major buildings in Washington to embody the characteristics of stripped classicism, a means of architectural expression of particular significance to Washington, and because it is a notable work of architect Waddy B. Wood, one of Washington's foremost early 20th century architects.

Built 1917
Waddy B. Wood, architect
DC Inventory: July 16, 1986
National Register: October 11, 1991



1405 G Street, NW