I don’t suppose many people care that we’re moving offices, but it’s a big deal around here. The Post has been at 1150 15th Street NW since the early 1970s. [Insert obligatory reference to Watergate coverage.] Not only are we moving out, but they’re tearing down the building. This injects a certain apocalyptic note to the move. We’ve started writing on the walls. I may bring a sledgehammer to work (checking with HR first, of course). Our new offices will have about two-thirds as much space and we’re not downsizing the staff — so it’s going to be cozy. I’ve scoured the new floor plan and cannot for the life of me figure out where my office is — all I see is a cubicle that has been assigned to me, which I assume is kind of a backup thing for when my office is being professionally decorated. We’re moving only three blocks, but this means finding a whole new suite of coffee and sandwich shops in which to avoid work. We’ll be at One Franklin Square, although the post office refuses to acknowledge that address and has some boring street address instead. We retain the 20071 Zip code that is exclusive to The Post — so we’ve got that going for us.
Update 4:57 p.m.: The big ceremony is over. Many moving speeches. Marc Fisher emceed. Speakers included Marty Weil (50 years at Post!), Karen DeYoung, Marcus Brauchli, Woodward and Bernstein, Len Downie, Don Graham, Fred Ryan and Marty Baron. We were very sorry that some people could not join us: Our colleague Jason Rezaian has been unjustly and outrageously imprisoned for more than 500 days in Iran. Freelance writer Austin Tice, our stringer in Syria, was kidnapped in 2012, his whereabouts unknown. A year ago this week, our great friend and colleague of many years, Michel du Cille, passed away while covering the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.
Many of the greats who worked in the newsroom came back today for a final look at the 15th and L headquarters. Don Graham reminded us that although the building opened in 1972, a few months before the Watergate break-in, it was an appendage of the existing Post building that dates to 1949.
Don paid tribute to his mother: “The most important person who ever worked in this building was Katharine Graham.”
And although The Post has had its iconic stories and famous moments, Don reminded us that what made this a great institution was “just an average day when somebody lit it up.” There was much talk of Ben Bradlee, of course — we were standing in the newsroom that Bradlee built. And by the way, for two decades after his retirement, Ben was in the building, a Post vice president at-large, and the legendary editor routinely had lunch in that humdrum cafeteria.