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11 Before-and-After Photos Showcase D.C.’s Stunning Transformation

Washington DC Skyline Changes

As our nation’s beautiful and historic capital, Washington, D.C. needs no introduction. While it always stood for architectural grandeur, the District is getting even more impressive with new development projects adding more vertical appeal and modern accents to its skyline. From exclusive residential communities to centers of corporate power, the new buildings offer flavors of both the old and the new, in true D.C. style.

8 Years of Architectural Transformation, in Photos

Care to see just how much new life these new projects have breathed into timeless neighborhoods, taking even recently-developed city blocks to new heights? Here’s a look back over the past eight years, through before-and-after photos, collected with the help of Google Street View.

Simply drag the arrow bar back-and-forth to view the old and the new images.

1. Square 54, 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue – Downtown

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Some of the tallest buildings in all of D.C., the structures that compose the Square 54 complex lend a brightness to the blocks surrounding George Washington University. The complex consists of three buildings, most notably the Southwest Residential Building, whose contemporary brick-and-glass facade rises more than 140 feet above the sidewalk, providing housing for hundreds of students who attend the nearby university. 2200 Pennsylvania, meanwhile, provides luxury living within easy walking distance of the Central Business District.

2. Lafayette Tower – Rittenhouse Square

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The intersection of 17th and H Streets sits just one block from the White House, and now provides a home for one of the most striking buildings in the capital: Lafayette Tower. This building’s sleek exterior hints at its futuristic design – the Tower is the first building in D.C. to receive LEED CD Platinum certification, due to its energy-efficient heating, electrical, and water conservation systems, and its 1,500-square-foot “green roofed” terrace.

3. Marriott Marquis – Downtown

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Just minutes’ walk away from Penn Quarter and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, this eye-catching hotel brings together the best of contemporary and classic design. Its 1,175 guest rooms – including 49 suites – offer luxury surroundings for travelers from around the globe; and its 54 breakout rooms and 105,000 square feet of event space provide plenty of room for presentations and networking.

4. Meridian at Mount Vernon, Yale West Apartments – Mr. Vernon Triangle

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Although Mt. Vernon Triangle began as a working-class neighborhood in the 1800s, it now serves as a hub of commercial and industrial innovation. The Meridian stands as proud evidence that the Triangle is still a thriving neighborhood – the building’s crisp lines stand out even against the surrounding high-rises, and the residences inside boast accents in stainless steel, granite, and hardwood. With floor plans ranging from 482 to 563 square feet, these apartments offer stylish living in one of the capital’s most vibrant areas. And at Yale West Apartments, residents can relax in the garden, splash in the pool or browse the retail spaces on the ground floor – all within easy walking distance of some of the District’s hottest shopping.

5. Lyric a.k.a. 440K Apartments, M Flats – Mt. Vernon Triangle

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As Mt. Vernon Triangle’s reputation as a walkable neighborhood grows, it’s not surprising that more and more young professionals find themselves drawn to its bustling streets. The Lyric at 440K and M Flats residential buildings cater to these trends, offering gleaming modern exteriors that contain state-of-the-art apartments. Quartz countertops and a 24/7 concierge service are just some of the amenities enjoyed by residents at these two buildings, which offer apartments with spacious floorplans ranging from 621 all the way up to 1,120 square feet.

6. Velocity Condominiums, Parc Riverside, 909, and Axiom – Capitol Riverfront

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D.C.’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood has been attracting a wealth of architectural investment lately – and these four residential buildings stand out as some of the most striking results of the growing demand for city living. With timeless red-brick facades accented by modern wall-size windows, all four of them provide luxury condominiums and apartments – in the 468 to 1,313-square-foot range – above spacious retail and dining areas.

7. Avalon First and M – NoMa

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Poised at the heart of the NoMa district, the Avalon First and M brigs together artistically designed apartments, resort-style amenities, and a community that’s been rated as the best in D.C. – all within a boldly designed steel-and-glass structure. The spacious floor plans, double-pane windows, and hardwood floors of these studios and one- and two-bedrooms are just the beginning of the luxury on offer here. Amenities include an on-site movie theater, soundproof music jam-rooms, and even a 24-hour resident concierge.

8. Flats 130, One Constitution Square – NoMa

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As NoMa continues to attract upscale urban development, luxury residential complexes seem to be popping up left and right – but these two structures stand out among the crowd. With contemporary exteriors showcasing gray steel, red brick, and wall-length windows, both these buildings set new standards in green construction. The Flats 130 apartment community is certified LEED Gold for its energy-efficient design while the 12-story, 450,00 square-foot One Constitution Square office building has earned LEED Platinum cerification.

9. Elevation at Washington Gateway, Courtyard Washington – NoMa

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With Capitol Hill close by, this section of NoMa has proven attractive to politically ambitious professionals – so it’s no surprise that imposing glass-and-steel skyscrapers have risen up to accommodate them. At Elevation apartments, residents enjoy ceiling-high windows with sweeping views of the Capitol, as well as hardwood floord, brushed-steel kitchens, and world-class amenities. The Marriott Courtyard Washington, meanwhile, offers comfortable accomodations to those visiting the Hill, within an array of airy interior spaces.

10. 111 K Street, 77 K Street, 1050 1st Street NE, 1100 1st Street – NoMa

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The corner of K and First Streets has attracted a burst of architectural development over the past 10 years, as these two buildings demonstrate. Construction on 77 and 111 K Street began in the first decade of the 2000s, and both these works in glass and steel now serve as home to a wide range of corporate tenants. The 300,000-square-foot 1050 1st Street NE office building was constructed as an extension of Sentinel Square at 90 K Street. 1100 First St, meanwhile, dates from 2009, and also houses many corporate offices within its all-glass curtain walls. Standing just minutes from Capitol Hill, all four of these gleaming towers overlook some of the capital’s most famous centers of power.

11. 2M Street Apartments – NoMa

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With its warm-toned superstructure and accents of dark steel and glass, this building is an undeniable presence on M Street. Situated just 12 blocks from the Capitol, it provides exclusive residential living for hundreds of professionals who can choose from 461-square-foot studios, 672-square-foot one-bedrooms, or 956-square-foot two-bedroom apartments. Its views overlook NoMa’s hip shopping and dining, and amenities like a rooftop pool and on-site fitness center ensure that residents stay in the lap of luxury.

Did we miss your favorite new Washington building or district? We’d love to hear about it! Share your own photos and comments, and you might just see them in a future RENTCafe post!

About the author

Ama Otet

Ama Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time. You can connect with Ama on Twitter or via email.

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