#280: The Old Post Office Pavillion
Until the W Hotel’s Point of View Bar opened a couple of years ago*, the best view of DC was from the top of the Old Post Office Pavillion. The building, which housed DC’s firs post office, is located on Pennsylvania Ave and 11th St NW. There is an elevator to the top which you can ride for free because it is operated by the National Park Service. From the top of the tower you get a great view of the White House, the National Mall, the Capitol and pretty much all of DC. The one downside is that the viewing area is encased in safety glass (safety first being the unofficial motto of the US), so you can’t really take good pictures.
The building itself is terrible. The bottom level is home to the world’s grimiest food court and the only public restrooms in four blocks, which sadly probably account for most of the traffic to this building. That is all about to change. Donald Trump just bought the building and plans to develop a swanky new hotel (Trump National Palace, perhaps?). The plan is for the elevator to the top to continue to operate for free even after the new hotel opens.
*A friend was nice enough to point out that the bar on top of the W didn’t just open recently, it RE-opened recently. It used to be the Washington Hotel and there was a bar at the top that she remembers visiting with her family years ago. Thank you, Michelle!