On Wednesday, the Trump family kicked off their project to vamp up Washington, D.C.'s Old Post Office building into a luxury hotel. The 1899 Romanesque Revival building, designed by the Treasury's supervising architect Willoughby J. Edbrooke, was built as the headquarters for the U.S. Post Office Department and as the post office for the city. Following several demolition suggestions throughout the 20th century, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and in recent years, the Old Post Office has housed offices and retail. The National Park Service manages the building's clock tower, the third-tallest building in the city. While that killer view has been closed since May, access will be restored when the hotel opens.
Wednesday's ceremony was billed as a groundbreaking, but since the building already exists, the Trumps (Donald, Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr.) and district and government officials shoveled dirt with golden shovels from a long box on the pavement, emblazoned with "Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C." ... in all caps, of course.
When the $200 million project is completed in 2016, the hotel will include 270 guestrooms with 16-foot-tall ceilings, as well as two Presidential Suites located in the old Postmaster General offices. The building will also have a 13,000-square-foot ballroom, a spa, and fitness center. Restaurants and retail are also planned. The design architect is Hany Hassan, FAIA, a partner and director of the D.C. office of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners. The architectural firm of record is D.C.- and Dallas-based WDG, directed by managing principal Durwood Dixon, AIA. Hirsch Bedner Associates' Betsy Hughes is in charge of interior design.