Post Official

In General on May 11, 2011 at 2:24 am

This place is on the top ten lists of everything, and routinely the phrases “great shopping” and “best view of DC” are bandied about. I am of course, talking of the Old Post Office:

Hokay. There was a huge campaign to save this building from demolition – there were plans to build another non-descript office block here. If you’ve got more sporting talent than me (you probably have) you could throw a tennis ball from here and hit the White House, so we’re talking prime real estate. However, the building was saved, the lower levels made into a mall-come-foodcourt, and the tower opened for a small exhibition and an observation deck.

The food court was pretty lame – a bit seedy, in fact. I went to buy a cookie, and I stood there for a good two minutes while the woman yammered away on her phone, before I left. If you know me, you know that I take cookies pretty god-damn seriously, and I’m willing to wait. If you know America, you know bad service is about as common as Black Squirrels. All round fail there, Post Office. Or Pavilion. Or Postal Building. Or the structure formally known as Prince. Whatever you’re called.

So, I tottered off to the Tower – the downstairs didn’t count as heritage, dammit. I met with a lovely NPS ranger named David who had spent many a holiday potholing and spelunking in the Brecon Beacons, and headed up in two elevators to the observation deck. Between the elevators was a small exhibit on the tower – nothing noteworthy, I’m afraid:

Real shame, that – the interpretation has clearly not been updated in some years (if ever), and it has a pretty dated feeling. As you’re aware, and as I have said before, you really can’t get away with this in Washington – you’re rolling with the big dawgs. If you’re going to try and do the Museum thing, you need to do it well, or you shouldn’t bother. Anyhoo – I still had great hope for the tower, so on to elevator two! I was a *tad* concerned…

There must obviously be some sort of electrical wire or something somewhere on the walls. I’m sure it’s nothing. Just a friendly, health and safet…oh.

That’s…just…inspired. Apart from the fact that Washington is kind of, well, flat, and doesn’t provide the best panoramas (the only notable architecture from the tower was the Capitol and the Washington Monument – both looked considerably more impressive from vantage points down on the road), the view was totally obscured by these thick, twisted metal wires! What the hell?! I can’t believe so many people recommend this. I was pretty annoyed – after spending the day in work, I generally have time to make it to one museum/site/thingy on a weekday. I stormed all the way up 14th street after this. Even by Monday standards, this was a waste.

One saving grace on the way out that made me chuckle, though, was this sly bit of grafitti. Bless you, you biro-weilding optimist.

  1. So not like the old food court in the Capital Centre then?

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