A Monumental Day as Bar Breaks Ground on New Home

By Jeffery Leon

June 8, 2016

D.C. Bar leadership and D.C. officials at groundbreaking. Photo by Patrice Gilbert

On June 6 the D.C. Bar broke ground on its new home at 901 4th Street NW in the vibrant Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. The groundbreaking was attended by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Bar leaders, members of the judiciary and D.C. legal community, the project's development and architectural firms, and neighborhood representatives. The day's events included a luncheon at Alba Osteria, the groundbreaking, and a reception at L'Hommage Bistro Francais.

At the groundbreaking, Bar President Tim Webster delivered opening remarks welcoming the crowd to the future location of the Bar's new headquarters, which is slated to open by early 2018. Some additional remarks were delivered by Incoming Bar President Annamaria Steward, Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District President and CEO Kenyattah Robinson, and SunTrust Bank President Dan O'Neill, among others, expressing their excitement for the Bar. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Photo by Patrice GilbertIn her closing remarks, Mayor Bowser praised the Bar's achievements and congratulated the Bar's leadership, the developers, and the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood on their bold new step for the D.C. legal community and the District of Columbia.

"It's a monumental day for the Bar and I'm excited to be a part of it," said Steward, whose term as Bar president begins June 15.

After the ceremony, Brigida Benitez, the Bar's immediate past president, talked about the coordinated effort that went into making this project possible.

"A lot of hard work went into it, and it was an honor to have been a part of it all and to be here today," Benitez said. It was during her term as Bar president, 2014–15, that the idea of purchasing a new headquarters building came to life. "It is the culmination of efforts over the years and we're so excited about it."

Mayor Bowser, Benitez, Robinson, Steward, and Webster later were joined by the Bar's Chief Executive Officer Katherine A. Mazzaferri, Chief Operating Officer Victor Velazquez, and others donning hardhats and holding shovels as they made the ceremonial first dig.

"It's finally real and happening. It's taken a good year of planning and design, and when we get to that point where there's finally shovels in the ground, it's very exciting," said John Warasila, founding principal at Alliance Architecture, the firm overseeing the design of the new headquarters "There's been a great cross-section of people who are involved in the process, and that makes for a stronger project."