There are big plans for the Fannie Mae headquarters, one of which involves making the historical significance of the original buildings official. Current Newspapers reports that the Historic Preservation Review Board unanimously named the buildings, located at 3900 Wisconsin Avenue NW, a landmark, while also approving concept designs for a planned redevelopment of the site.
The Fannie Mae headquarters are divided into these parts: a main building, built in 1956; two side wings, built in 1963; and a rear addition, built in 1978. Influenced by the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, architect Leon Chatelain Jr. designed the structure in the colonial revival style.
While both the Historic Preservation Office and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C showed support to the landmark application, there were some who were uncertain of just how significant the structure really is. Washington City Paper spoke against the application, writing:
“The pleasing symmetry of the sash windows becomes deadening in the Fannie Mae building, repeated ad nauseam down its long brick facade. The proportions are wrong, too. Projecting wings at either end appear bulky, overwhelming the central volume that ought to be dominant.”
When complete, the 10-acre site will feature nine buildings with over 700 residential units, up to 150 hotel rooms, and over 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. There will also be a theater, green spaces, and 68,000 square feet of office and cultural-use space.
• Board names Fannie Mae a historic landmark, supports planned redevelopment [Current Newspapers]
• Landmarking Fannie Mae Building Will Dilute Historic Preservation [Washington City Paper]