A Brief History
“The Old 1899 Post Office is a massive bulwark of the city’s historic charm. Without it, all that frozen bureaucracy on Pennsylvania Avenue would become unbearably oppressive. Besides, it was there first.”
— Wolf Von Eckardt
In 1971 the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, a magnificent Richardsonian Romanesque-style building designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke, was slated for demolition–all except for its tower–to allow completion of the neoclassical Federal Triangle of 1928-38. In part to save this Washington landmark, Don’t Tear It Down, an activist lobbying group, was founded that year.
The changing local economy of the early 1990s impacted the organization's financial condition, but dedicated volunteers with the leadership of President James Rogers who served from 1989 – 1995 forged ahead anticipating better days.
During the last forty years, DCPL has sponsored more than 200 historic landmarks for nomination to the DC Inventory of Historic Sites, engaged in hard-fought battles for numerous buildings including the Keith-Albee (Riggs) Building, the Colorado Building, Red Lion Row, and the Greyhound Bus Station.
DCPL continues to make an inestimable contribution to the protection and understanding of the history of the District of Columbia. Every member and supporter has a right to feel proud of this legacy. Achieving a sound financial footing while continuing to preserve, protect, and enhance the historic and built environment of Washington, DC, through advocacy and education remains DCPL’s greatest challenge as it looks forward to its 40th Anniversary and beyond.