Murky Future for Two of D.C.'s Architectural Gems

The good news is that two of Washington's historical treasures are scheduled for renovation and re-use; columnist Steven Pearlstein delivers the bad news.
February 13, 2012, 6am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Current plans for the renovation and "re-purposing" of the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue and the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building on the Mall have Pearlstein concerned with the process by which these plans were selected and developed.

Focusing on the recent decision to select Donald Trump to transform the Old Post Office into a luxury hotel, Pearlstein details his qualms with the man, not the plan.

"Like many in the real estate game, Colony and Trump are high-risk gamblers who play all the angles and have a habit of overpaying and overleveraging. When projects get into trouble, as this one surely will, they think nothing of handing the keys over to the lenders and moving on to the next deal. They have no roots in Washington and precious little experience with major structural renovation of historic properties."

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Published on Sunday, February 12, 2012 in The Washington Post
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