A $28 million restoration of the historic National Press Building -- a plan that includes the construction of a 14-story atrium and 88,000 additional square feet of retail and office space -- was announced yesterday by the building's board of directors.
The restoration plan is expected to begin within a year and be completed during 1983. Drew Von Bergen, president of both the building corporation and the National Press Club, said the building would be revamped without interrupting utilities and with only a minimum of disruption for current tenants.
In addition to the renovation of the building's interior, the restoration includes the preservation and expansion of the National Press Club and the theater arch on the F Street side of the building's 14th and F streets NW site.
The architects for the project are HTB Inc. of Oklahoma City and Washington, a firm with an office in the Press Building.
The announcement ends more than three years of speculation about the fate of the building, which has lost many large news organizations in recent years to office locations farther west in the downtown area.
Although the building corporation in 1978 had proposed a $165 million plan to build a new facility on the site, the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp. selected the Quadrangle Corp. to develop the block.
After negotiations with Quadrangle, the building's board of directors decided to restore the existing building, citing economic, historic and practical grounds for the move.