Housing Complex

D.C.’s Convention Center, Then and Now

This evening, Mayor Vince Gray and other city officials will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Its predecessor, the similarly named Washington Convention Center, occupied the space between H Street and New York Avenue NW that later became a parking lot, bus pickup location, and trapeze school, and is now home to the steadily rising buildings that will become CityCenterDC.

So now's as good a time as any to look back and what was and what is.

What was—the Washington Convention Center during demolition in January 2005:

What is—the Walter E. Washington Convention Center:

And a bonus fun fact: In 2008, the convention center earned its place in the Guinness Book of World Records for largest silver-service dinner when it hosted 16,206 Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority members at their centennial dinner.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons

  • Campy

    Why didn't we protect the historical character of this building? Another case of DC tearing down its past to replace it with shiny glass boxes.

    I am totally kidding.

  • Bob See

    Ah, the new Convention Center. Remember when the roof collapsed during construction? Covering as much ground as the US Capitol and Union Station combined, shoehorned into a townhome neighborhood with your lifeless presence...how could we not love ya?