Watergate complex

Infobox_nrhp | name =Watergate
nrhp_type =

caption =The Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.
location= Washington, D.C.
area =Foggy Bottom
built =1962
architect= Moretti, Luigi; Timchenko, Boris, et al.
architecture= Modern Movement
added = October 12, 2005
governing_body = Private
refnum=05000540 cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2006-03-15|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
The Watergate complex is an office-apartment-hotel complex built in 1967 in northwest Washington, D.C., United States, best known for being the site of burglaries that led to the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon.


The Watergate complex is a superblock bounded on the north by Virginia Avenue, on the east by New Hampshire Avenue, on the south by F Street, and on the west by the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway. It is in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood overlooking the Potomac River, adjacent to the Kennedy Center and the embassy of Saudi Arabia. The nearest Metro station is Foggy Bottom-GWU.


The Watergate complex was developed by the Italian firm Società Generale Immobiliare, which purchased the 10 acres which constitute the plot of land on the defunct Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in the early 1960s for 10 million US Dollars. Italian architect Luigi Moretti designed the six buildings on the site: a hotel, two office buildings, three apartment buildings and a retail center. The name of the complex was derived from the terraced step area to the west of the Lincoln Memorial that leads down to the Potomac River. The steps used to face a floating performance stage on the Potomac River, creating an amphitheater. This area was originally planned as the official reception area for all dignitaries arriving in Washington, D.C. by water. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60120-2004Dec12.html]

Individual buildings at the Watergate

The Watergate Hotel is located at 2650 Virginia Avenue NW. It has 250 guest rooms and 146 suites. In 2004, the hotel was purchased by a company planning to turn it into luxury co-ops. The hotel closed on August 1, 2007 for a $170 million 18-month renovation. [cite web|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/05/AR2007080501217.html|title=Watergate Hotel Shuts Down to Spruce Up|accessdate=2007-11-06]

The two Watergate Office Buildings are at 600 New Hampshire Avenue NW and 2600 Virginia Avenue NW. In 1972, the Democratic National Committee had its headquarters on the sixth floor of the 11-story 2600 Virginia Avenue building. On May 28, 1972, a team of burglars working for Nixon's re-election campaign put wiretaps and took photos in and near the DNC chairman's office. The wiretaps were monitored from rooms [cite web|url=http://www.lindsayfincher.com/2007/06/the_watergate_burglaries_and_h.html|title=The Watergate burglaries and HoJo's room 419|accessdate=2008-01-17 Includes photos showing the Watergate Office Building, as viewed from one of the burglars' rooms at the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge.] at the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge hotel across the street at 2601 Virginia Avenue NW. (The hotel is now owned by The George Washington University. It is used as a dormitory for graduate students, and is known on campus as "HOVA", or "Hall on Virginia Avenue". [cite web|url=http://gwired.gwu.edu/gwhousing/whereyoulive/grad/hova/|title=The George Washington University's page on the Hall on Virginia Avenue, fmr. Howard Johnson Hotel|accessdate=2008-09-28] ) During a second burglary on June 17, 1972, to replace a malfunctioning "bug" and collect more information, five burglars were arrested and the Watergate scandal began to unfold.

The Watergate Office Building was sold in 2005 by Trizec Properties to BentleyForbes, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm run by C. Frederick Wehba, for $86.5 million. The complex, consisting of the buildings at 2500, 2600, and 2650 Virginia Ave. NW and 600 and 700 New Hampshire Ave. NW, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 21, 2005. [cite web|url=http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/listings/20051021.HTM|title=National Register of Historic Places Listings - October 21, 2005|accessdate=2007-03-27]

The three Watergate Apartment buildings total some 600 residential units. Past occupants have included Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bob and Elizabeth Dole, Monica Lewinsky, Betty Currie, Ben Stein, Clare Boothe Luce, and Paul O'Neill.Fact|date=August 2008 Current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice now lives in the Watergate.Fact|date=August 2008

There is a small (63,000 sq. ft. / 5900 m²) retail center (which offers a Safeway supermarket and a CVS pharmacy) in the basement level, and several upscale shops and restaurants at street level.

ee also

*List of tallest buildings in Washington, D.C.


External links

* [http://www.thewatergatehotel.com/ The Watergate Hotel] official website
* [http://www.bentleyforbes.com/company/ Bentley Forbes] official website
* Livingston, Mike. " [http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2002/06/17/focus11.html Watergate: The name that branded more than a building] ," "Washington Business Journal", June 14, 2002

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