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3524 Connecticut Avenue

Original Name: The Seafare
Year Of Construction: 1928, 1945, 1955 & 2009
Address: 3534 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20008
Architect(s): Harvey Warwick (1928) R.C. Archer, Jr. (1945) Rust, Orling & Neale (2009)
Current Status: Wallgreens Pharmacy
Original Use: Retail Grocer
Function: Retail

The property at 3524 Connecticut Avenue NW, home to Walgreens drugstore, has an interesting history which is detailed in a large placard in front of the building. In the 1920s, two separate commercial buildings designed by Harvey Warwick housing two grocery stores: the Sanitary Grocery Company and the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P) occupied the property. In 1945 they were combined to form the restaurant and lounge bar, The Seafare. R.C. Archer, Jr., an African-American architect, conducted the renovation for Anna Sabin and Henry Crossen and he designed a new glass and metal facade with a central doorway to unite the two buildings. Pigmented structural glass (often referred to by proprietary names such as Vitrolite or Carrara or Sani-Onyx) was used for the facade. This smooth, reflective surface was seen as an affordable substitute for marble. The Seafare remained in business until 1954 and a year later the first of several Chinese restaurants occupied this location until 2007, most notably Yenching Palace. 3524 Connecticut was then leased to Walgreens and the renovation which took placed from 2007-2009. The 2009 façade recreation, executed by architects Rust, Orling & Neale, most closely reflects the 1945 design of R.C. Archer, Jr. The glass block entry door and marquee are from this time as well. Nothing of any architectural value remains in the interior of the building.