Washington Lawyer - April/May 2018 - 6
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
building can be a powerful statement of an institution's importance and mission. Upon its
dedication in 1935, the monumental and imposing façade of the U.S. Supreme Court building
made clear that the Court, which had previously bounced around borrowed spaces in the
Capitol Building, has a dignity and rank equal to the executive and legislative branches of the
In Washington, D.C., many grand edifices vie for the awe and admiration of passersby. But people's
favorite buildings are often those that contribute to the life and well-being of our community and stand
as manifestations of the public commitment of the organizations that inhabit them. For example, the
buildings that Whitman-Walker Health has occupied over the years on and around 14th Street NW and
Bread for the City's facilities in Northwest and Southeast D.C. have served as prized emblems of the
passion and civic-spiritedness of those agencies.
Our new home at 901 4th Street NW will be a foundation for the Bar to serve as both a nationally promi-
of our building
marks the rise
of the Bar to
a new level of
nent professional organization and a cherished local presence. Elsewhere in these pages, you can read
about the particular features and design attributes of the headquarters, so I won't dwell on them here.
The structure's sleek, contemporary, and functional spaces will be an excellent platform for the Bar's
delivery of a panoply of services and conveniences to our members.
The opening of our building marks the rise of the Bar to a new level of institutional maturity. As a tenant
for the last 40 years in one rented space after another, the Bar has been beholden to landlords' control
of occupancy costs. Now, as the owner of a building designed in all respects to suit members' needs, the
Bar is, to a greater degree, the master of its own fate. The retail and office space we will lease to others,
as well as the broadcast studio and conference spaces that outside organizations can rent, will produce
income that can help the Bar curb future dues increases while we bring employment and business development opportunities to the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. And at events like our upcoming
Law Day 2018 celebration of the U.S. Constitution, we will welcome students and visitors in our role as
a valued community partner.
Managing our sophisticated Bar will require savvy professional staff. CEO Bob Spagnoletti, his senior team,
and the Bar's top-notch employees are up to the task. The Bar also will need experienced, committed
volunteer leaders to serve as officers, members of the Board of Governors, and participants in the Bar's
various committees. So, I encourage you to visit the Bar's new home as soon as you can and take in all
that the building represents as an accomplishment, a commitment to the future of the community, and
a tribute to member service. But above all, I also invite you to get involved in leading this fine organization
into its exciting future.
Photo: Patrice Gilbert Photography