The Old Post Office Pavilion provides:
- One of the best views in Washington;
- A food court with lots of choices;
- Many small shops;
- Convenient location near the Federal Triangle Metro Station.
The Old Post Office Pavilion is one of Washington DC’s hidden and often overlooked gems. It was built in the 1890′s, and at 315 feet, it was Washington’s tallest building. Today there are only two buildings in Washington that are taller, the Washington Monument at 555 feet and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 329 feet.
The core of the building is a huge, many stories tall enclosed space with a glass ceiling/roof. Originally the building housed the city post office, and it was also used as the offices of the Postmaster General and the US Post Office.
The building still contains offices, but it has several things that are of interest to those who want to enjoy Washington DC. First the tower provides an unobstructed view in every direction. Most of Washington’s most popular sites are visible from the tower.
I know these images are too small to see any detail in most of buildings, but still this does give an idea of the view looking west from the Old Post Office Tower. I have identified some of the features below.
1. Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History.
2. Washington Monument.
3. National World War II Memorial.
4. Custis-Lee Mansion in Arlington Cemetery.
5. Gravesite of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
6. Arlington Memorial Bridge with the Lincoln Memorial on the Washington DC side of the Potomac and Arlington Cemetery on the Virginia side.
7. Lincoln Memorial.
8. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
9. White House obscured to some extent because the Treasury Building blocks a part of the view.
10. Freedom Plaza.
11. Washington National Cathedral With Grotesque of Darth Vader.
The lower two floor contain a food court as well as a good number of stores. Many of the stores have a focus on souvenirs, but as it turns out souvenirs are not all that difficult to find in Washington.
The Old Post Office Pavilion is located at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Click Here for Google Map showing the location of the Old Post Office Pavilion
Closest Metro Station: The Federal Triangle Metro Station on the Blue and Orange Lines is nearest to the Old Post Office. There is an has an exit just across 12th Street from the Old Post Office.
Lost Symbol by Dan Brown: Several of the sites in the photo above are mentioned in this book.
2. Washington Monument mentioned in chapters 3, 6, 128, 129, 131, 132 and the Epilogue.
10. Freedom Plaza mentioned in chapters 75, 76, 78 and 79.
11. Washington National Cathedral With Grotesque of Darth Vader mentioned in chapters 79, 82, 89, 91, 93, 123 and 130.