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Then and Now: The Times-Herald building

The Washington Times/Washington Herald building in the 1920s (left) and today (right).
Historic image from the Library of Congress.

The Washington Times, later to become the Times-Herald, was first published March 18, 1884. It was started by Frank Lerch. The Times was eventually sold to Aurthur Brisbane, William Randolph Hearst's chief editorial writer, in May, 1910. The Washington Herald was started on October 8, 1906, as a morning newspaper. After a succession of owners it was sold to William Randolph Hearst on November 19, 1922. The historic image above likely dates to shortly after that time and shows the Times-Herald building at 1307 H Street, NW.

Both newspapers were purchased by Eleanor Patterson on February 1, 1939. Patterson owned the papers until her death July 24, 1948. The Washington Post purchased the papers in March 1954, and publication of the paper was moved to the plant at 1515 L Street, NW.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest primarily within the District. He's worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He's been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is the force behind the blog Park View, D.C.


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I actually think the current building is a good example of adapting an old facade into a modern building. The thing that turns my stomach in the today shot is how awful that intersection is. They could make that whole area so much nicer with a traffic circle.

by Reid on Jul 22, 2010 12:09 pm • linkreport

Agree with Reid re: intersection of 13th, H & NY. As someone whose office is at this corner, I can testify that this intersection is a nightmare for pedestrians and is a general urban design nightmare.

by rg on Jul 22, 2010 12:20 pm • linkreport

Is that actually the same facade? Did they do a *really* good job of blending the 5th floor in, or is it simply a facsimile?

by andrew on Jul 22, 2010 12:42 pm • linkreport

The original facade is there, incorporated into the expanded complex. Two notes: 1. on the left is the old George Washington University Hospital, before the "new" GW Hospital was built at Washington Circle in 1949, and 2. the area in front of the building used to be known as Herald Square. It would be great to redesign the area into a better functioning and more attractive urban plaza and maybe restore use of the old name!

by GWalum on Jul 22, 2010 12:47 pm • linkreport

I like the original street configuration much more than what is there now. And I bet the traffic situation that lead to this tinkering no longer exists since PA Ave was closed. No reason not to turn it back or try for something else.

by andy on Jul 22, 2010 8:30 pm • linkreport

Reid, rg, andy, and everyone,
Would you name other squares, former or current, in the district or elsewhere that are examples of good urbanism at this kind of intersection?
It seems complicated but not insurmountable. Yet nothing comes immediately to mind.
Thanks in advance.

by pinkshirt on Jul 22, 2010 10:50 pm • linkreport

The Washington Times was sold in 1901 to Frank Munsey and was headquartered in the Munsey Building on Pennsylvania Avenue (profiled at ).

by StreetsOfDC on Jul 23, 2010 7:44 am • linkreport

@pinkshirt - to me it should be just another normal diagonal avenue through a letter and number sts intersection - we have scads of those throughout the District - including what should be the mirror image of this on the east side of that 13th St intersection. \
Back in the day traffic on NY Ave was absolutely nuts - I can see why they would want to tinker around with abnormal intersections such as this one to improve traffic flow. But those traffic conditions don't exist any more. Why wouldn't it be good urbanism to recognize that and revert the intersection back to the way it was intended?

by andy on Jul 23, 2010 9:55 am • linkreport

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