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The Tower Tumbles: H.D. Woodson

December 30, 2008

The demolition of H.D. Woodson Senior High School –  located at 5500 Eads Street NE in Washington – is almost complete. From the Post’s DC Wire Blog:

“Nicknamed the “Tower of Power,” the seven-story, 250,000-square-foot building has been long regarded as a design monstrosity and a neighborhood eye sore. Though it is one of the newest schools in the system, Woodson has been plagued with so many structural problems that officials decided more than eight years ago that it needed to be demolished.” blog.washingtonpost.com/dc/2008/04/tower_of_power_to_come…

It’s ugly, but talking to a number of people familiar with neighborhood, including a handful of Woodson alumni, I’ve come to better appreciate the real attachment many people had to the building. Though it suffered badly from disrepair, the Tower of Power was a symbol of Woodson High School pride. It’s a good illustration of the ambiguity characterizing so much failed modernist design – from the outside it is easy to see only the negative.

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