Tuesday, April 9, 2013

General Post Office and Tariff Building, DC

Last week I attended an event at the Monaco Hotel, one of my favorite buildings in DC, and thought I would share it with you. The hotel actually started out life as the General Post Office in 1839 and was later turned into the Tariff Building. It wasn't until 2002 when the building was converted into a hotel.
Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, originally designed the structure. Later, Thomas Walter, architect of the U.S. Capitol building, designed an extensive addition. Impressive roots for a mere hotel!
The beautiful plasterwork in the hotel has been expertly restored but what really amazed me was this cantilevered limestone staircase, rising up to the ballrooms on the 4th floor.
 The original iron and wood railing is solid yet elegant.
I have been to the hotel many times to the restaurant, Poste, but had never ventured beyond the lobby. The 4th floor was astounding. The Paris ballroom was designed in the 1860's as the library for the Postmaster General and what a lucky man he was.
The space has the same intricate plasterwork as below but an elliptical, groin-vaulted ceiling contains skylights which flood the vast 3,500sf space with light. No wonder the space is popular with weddings and other events!
The building features extremely wide hallways which are dotted with fashionable furnishings which refer back to the hotel's capital location. Recognize the eagle console from Vanguard?
These chairs appear to have a Fornasetti fabric, does anyone recognize it?  Next time you're in DC take a look around the Monaco Hotel, you won't regret it!


Brian Thiel said...

My partner and I just spent the end of last week at the Monaco (on the 4th floor as well). I didn't even think to explore around and find any of the areas you photographed! We seem to end up there whenever we are in DC, so now I've got a mission on our next visit. Thanks!

Daniel James Shigo said...

What a luxury to have such space for a library. Lucky man indeed. Love the vaulted ceiling!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Brian - How lucky! How were the rooms, I've always been curious?

Daniel - the room was really amazing and when I heard it was his library I was blown away!

TheOtherMother said...

My husband and I stayed at The Monaco a few years back when he returned from a type of duty in Iraq. Absolutely stunning building and the guest rooms are spectacular. Thanks for featuring such a treasure!

Terry said...

Speechless here. Thanks so much.

deana sidney said...

I'm just drooling over the staircase. It is just perfect. It is amazing that great things are stuck away and go unnoticed till some intrepid soul skips the elevator and walks or does a little exploring and shares their discoveries. Cool place and I am really fond of roof lanterns. I think I need one in my life!!

Nancy said...

Ive never been in there, so thank you so much for posting this! There are so many places in DC that I have yet to discover...that's why I enjoy your blog so much! It was great meeting you at the Show House Stefan!
Keep in touch.
xo Nancy

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Stefan -
What a handsome staircase! And such stately architecture!! I can't believe we've never been here. Will have to book a reservation at Poste.
Have a great weekend,

The Down East Dilettante said...

The black & white fabric is probably by Timney & Fowler. Wonderful stuff.

The Down East Dilettante said...

yup, it is. Pattern is called 'Coins with Vertical Stripes