Central National Bank (Apex Building)

The Apex Building showcases changes to Pennsylvania Avenue from the nineteenth century through today.

The Central National Bank, also known as the Dorothy I. Height Building or Apex Building, is now the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women. The twin-turreted, former bank was one of a cluster of financial buildings that distinguished Market Square as a prime nineteenth century business center along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Designed in a Renaissance Revival-style by architect Alfred B. Mullett (1834-1890), the Apex Building first served as a hotel, later renamed the Saint Marc in 1871. Purchased in 1887 by the Central National Bank, the building was extensively remodeled with new facades, towers, banking hall, and iron vaults to accommodate the structure’s new purpose. The new design echoed the old Center Market, which once faced this lot.

In 1945, the ground floor was leased by the Apex Liquor store. The structure was renovated again by 1984 by Sears, and now houses the headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women.

DC Inventory: August 28, 1973
National Register: April 25, 1995
Within Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic District

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633 Pennsylvania Avenue NW