Old Post Office Pavilion
Despite its modern-day popularity, the Pavilion proved a financial liability for the city. In 2013, real estate developer, reality show star, and now-President Donald Trump was approved for a 60-year lease and renovated the Pavilion into the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. The luxury hotel, which opened in 2016, includes more than 260 guest rooms, a conference center, a spa, restaurants, and a museum dedicated to the building's history.
Second only to the Washington Monument in height, the Pavilion’s 315-foot (96-meter) clock tower and observation deck offer 360-degree views of downtown Washington and the National Mall. Free interpretive tours are given daily by National Park Service rangers; tours meet by the glass elevators on the Pavilion’s stage level. It’s a not-so-hidden gem in the heart of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A must-do for history lovers and families visiting Washington, D.C.
- The Pavilion houses several restaurants, shops, and services.
- It can get windy at the open-air clock tower so bring a jacket.
- Bags are checked by security at the first set of elevators.
How to Get There
Located at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, just north of the Mall, the Old Post Office Pavilion is best reached via the Federal Triangle metro station. From the 12th Street side, walk to Starbucks—the entrance is nearby and grants access to two sets of elevators. A glass-enclosed elevator on the tower’s south side takes visitors through the hotel atrium while a second elevator continues on to the observation deck.
When to Get There
Hours of operation are 9am–5pm daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, with last entry at 4:30pm.
Demolition to Preservation
Far from beloved in its own era, the building was considered dowdy by the time it opened for business, when architectural fashion had turned to rounded, more romantic Beaux-Arts design. By the late 1920s, popular sentiment in Washington was that the building should be torn down, but the Great Depression prevented the demolition; instead, the Old Post Office was left to molder for about 40 years. In the 1970s, it was saved by community support.
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