Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rosslyn Landmark is Doomed by Development

I'm sure I speak for all of my fellow bureaucrats who work in the several State office annexes in Rosslyn, Virginia, when I mourn the impending demolition of the Orleans House (photo at left). That place is the last landmark still standing of the old, low-rent, somewhat sleazy, pre-office tower days of this neighborhood in which I've worked for most of the past 20 years.

It's being squeezed out by development, which I suppose is inevitable - after all, the two 30-story office and condo towers that will replace it will tremendously expand the Arlington tax base. But where will a bureaucrat be able to get a $5.95 prime rib lunch, or loiter over a really excellent salad bar, once the old place is gone?

What you gain in economic development, architectural merit, structural soundness, and general cleanliness with these new office towers, you lose in character. It's enough to make me turn into a historic preservationist.

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