Day 72

Foggy Bottom (March 21, 2020)

Much of Foggy Bottom is taken up by the campus of George Washington University (commonly known as GW). GW was founded by an Act of Congress on February 9, 1821. It, currently, has approximately 11,000 undergraduate and 15,500 graduate students.

Because of the coronavirus, the University was shut down and most of the students had left for their homes. Consequently, there was not the bustle that you normally find in the area.

GW has an affiliated hospital, also situated in Foggy Bottom. The current hospital building opened in 2002 and has over 370 beds.

In previous posts, we have mentioned the cast-iron call boxes that have been turned into art installations. Here is another one.

Also situated in Foggy Bottom are the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The World Bank building is one of the few attractive buildings in the neighborhood.

The World Bank

However, the most iconic address in Foggy Bottom is the Watergate. The Watergate complex consists of six buildings covering a total of ten acres and include offices, apartments and a hotel. It was built between 1963 and 1971.

The Watergate

The Watergate is, of course, most famous for the scandal that takes its name and ultimately resulted in the resignation of President Nixon on August 9, 1974. In 1972, the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee were located in the Watergate Office Building. The offices were burglarized, campaign documents were photographed and telephones were wiretapped. The burglars were arrested during a follow-up burglary to improve the wiretapping capabilities. The ensuing investigation revealed that high officials in Nixon’s Administration had ordered the break-in and then tried to cover up their involvement. In the photo above, the small building at the right was at the time a Howard Johnson’s motel. The burglars used Room 419 for a stakeout during the break-in. The building is no longer a motel. It was recently renovated and now contains upmarket residences.

Less famous than the Watergate, but no less important to us, is the building in the following photo. It used to be the Columbia Hospital for Women where both of our sons were born. The hospital closed in 2002 and was converted into condominiums.

The Columbia Residence (Formerly Columbia Hospital for Women)

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