Washington Harbour

The Place: The Washington Harbour

Where: 30th and K Streets NW

Why Live Near Here: Who doesn’t want to live near a complex where one can dine at some top notch restaurants, drink at some fun outdoor bars, watch rowers skillfully scull past, or (from November to March) go ice skating with a penguin*?

*Ok ok they’re not real penguins but they’re skate aids in the shape of penguins. Still pretty damn cute…

Things to Know: The Washington Harbour has a complicated history filled with many owners, legal battles, and almost 8 years ago, a major flood, but to DC residents, it has long been a dramaless area to relax and enjoy the views of the Kennedy Center, Watergate, and Key Bridge.

The Harbour was designed by Arthur Cotton Moore, the man also known for the design of the Goh Annex of the Phillips Collection, the renovation and modernization of the Thomas Jefferson and John Adams buildings of the Library of Congress, the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the renovation of D.C.’s tallest residential building, the Cairo Hotel.

To overcome the potential flooding problems in a complex that was built practically on top of the water, Moore incorporated a floodgate into Washington Harbour. The gates were the first of their kind in the world when built. Its 57 floodgates take three to five hours to put in place and the decision to raise the gates is made by the management company who then contacts the National Weather Service’s River Desk at Harper’s Ferry.  Generally speaking, water at Harper’s Ferry takes about 36 hours to reach Washington Harbour so the majority of the times the gates have gone up have been times when the water didn’t actually reach them, but better safe than sorry!

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