Yesterday we learned that the parking garage in Rosslyn where Bob Woodward met Deep Throat to gain intel on the Watergate burglaries will soon face the wrecking ball. Most of our voting readership is not terribly bothered by the fact that this space will be commemorated with only a plaque. However, it got us thinking whether there are any odd landmarks, like a parking garage for instance, that have found their way onto the National Register of Historic Places.
Most of the five hundred spots in D.C. on the Register make sense. The list is rife with monuments, government buildings, old homes, old hotels and a few apartment complexes. In fact, the Watergate itself is on there. However, there are a few spots that intrigued us and we've listed those spots (and what we've learned about them) after the jump.
12th Street YMCA:
Actually, the building is now known as the Thurgood Marshall Center, but its former raison d'être, and probable reason for its induction in 1983, was its role as the first full service YMCA for African-Americans in the country. In fact, the building's architect, W. Sidney Pittman, was one of the nation's first African-American architects.
Banneker Recreation Center:
It's now home to one of the city's most beloved outdoor pools (which is open through the weekend and has a diving board!) but this was another cornerstone of the African-American community in Washington, D.C.
A highway is on the National Register of Historic Places? It's not the only one, either. The George Washington Memorial Parkway (which remains the home to plenty of historic deer) is on the register, too. Suitland Parkway is primarily in Maryland, and it is historic because it was built to connect Andrews Air Force Base and D.C. during World War II.
Central Heating Plant:
A central heating plant seems even less historic than a road. However, when it was designed in the 1930s, it was the largest power station in the country. It's also just a cool art deco building.
Cuban Friendship Urn:
Haven't ever heard of this monument? No? The brief history is that marble urn located in Havana was erected in honor of American Marines who died off the Cuban coast. After a hurricane knocked it over, the Cubans sent the urn to America as a gift. It mysteriously disappeared during the height of the Cold War but as of 1998, it's sat south of the Tidal Basin. Look for it next time the Cherry Blossoms bloom.