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Acacia Building

Original Name: Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Company
Year Of Construction: 1935
Address: 51 Louisiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001
Architect(s): Shreve, Lamb & Harmon
Current Status: Jones Day Office Building
Original Use:

The original 1935 limestone-clad building is six stories in height. A seven story addition to the north along 1st Street was completed in 1953, taking the building to its full height. This building is the closest private high-rise office building to the United States Capitol, which it faces to the southeast. The building is a fantastic example of what we have dubbed “Greco-Deco”, an Art Deco-stylized version of neo-classical architecture unique to monumental buildings of the 1930’s. This is best-exemplified by the Acacia’s taught rusticated base, subtlety-fluted pilasters, and capped by a restrained entablature complete with interesting circle motifs in the frieze. A particularly delightful detail is the pair of stylized griffins (the winged lion-like animals) framing the steps of the main entrance forecourt. A contemporary glass addition, 300 New Jersey Avenue, was added on the north side of this structure. The two buildings are linked by an asymmetrical full-height glass atrium.