Old Post Office

Though only three blocks away, I waited for more than half a year to visit the Old Post Office. Its clock tower is the third tallest building in Washington D.C. (after the Washington Monument and the National Shrine and before the National Cathedral) and certainly the tallest one tourists can enter downtown ever since the Washington Monument closed after the earthquake. I delayed seeing it because I wanted to go on a day with perfect light. I wanted the sun high in the sky (hence no trouble taking pictures either east or west) yet dimmed, so I'd get few shadows (no strong contrast between sunlit buildings and buildings in shadows, and no washing out the background). I also wanted the sky to not be overcast--I wanted long visibility and the sky to have character / not be monotone. Eventually that day arrived at time when I was free and the clock tower was open. I grabbed my camera and Di Yin and hopped over there before the weather had the opportunity to change.

Here are my pictures of both the clock tower and the pavilion (the lower level).

I learned about the building from a National Park ranger and the signs on the walls. Built in the 1870s and 1880s, it was the first skyscraper in D.C. Starting a couple decades into the twentieth century, there were plans to tear it down. These plans lasted for 75 years! After many delays and bouts of community opposition, they were eventually scraped. The building was restored.

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