Western Bus Garage

This bus garage in Friendship Heights has been integral to Washington's public transportation system since the 1930s.

The Western Bus Garage, completed in 1934, was designed by the architect Arthur B. Heaton (1875-1951). Heaton loved colonial architecture and made frequent trips to Williamsburg, Charlottesville, and Fredricksburg for inspiration. He was particularly interested in the slight variations in moldings, bricks, and details of old buildings. The Western Bus Garage reflects his interest in brickwork. The main 44th Street NW facade is given a monumental treatment in tapestry brick and limestone, using modernistic motifs of the 1930s Art Deco period. Heaton also designed the Washington Railway & Electric Company (WRECO) Garage — also known as the Central Bus Garage — on Georgia Avenue NW.

This particular block in Friendship Heights has long been connected to the city's public transportation infrastructure. It originally included a car barn adjacent to Wisconsin Avenue. Streetcars contributed significantly to the development of DC, including the neighborhoods of Upper Northwest, as streetcar routes, such as the one along Wisconsin Avenue, attracted new residential and commercial buildings. Eventually, the bus garage was built to the west of the car barn. As buses eclipsed streetcars, the car barn was demolished and replaced with a surface parking lot for buses in the 1960s. WMATA continues to use this bus garage.

Historic landmark status is currently pending.



5230 Wisconsin Avenue NW