John A. Wilson Building


The John A. Wilson District Building, popularly known simply as the Wilson Building, houses the municipal offices and chambers of the Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia. Originally called the District Building, it was renamed in 1994 to commemorate former Council Chair John A. Wilson. Completed in 1908, during the administration of 26th President Theodore Roosevelt, the building is a contributing structure to the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site.HistoryThe original site of the John A. Wilson Building was a streetcar power station that had been destroyed by a fire in 1897. With the "Public Building Act" of 1902, the United States Congress authorized $550,000 for the purchase of the property and an additional $1.5 million (later increased to $2 million) dollars for the construction of a new District municipal building. Previously, the D.C. government had been housed in the old District of Columbia City Hall, a historic neoclassical styled structure on Indiana Avenue, constructed 1822-1849 by George Hadfield.A competition held for the design of the new District Building called for "classic design in the manner of the English Renaissance". The Philadelphia firm of Cope and Stewardson won the contract and construction started in 1904. The building was dedicated on July 4, 1908 by Henry MacFarland, President of the Board of Commissioners. While the building has continuously served as the municipal offices of the District's local government, the United States Department of War housed 200 visiting servicemen there during World War II.


1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington D.C., DC


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