Hotel Monaco

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust
Washington, DC

Historic Preservation, Building Evaluation, and Repair

As part of a sixty-year lease agreement with the General Services Administration, the building underwent a renovation in 2000, transforming the building into a 183-room, world-class hotel. The hotel opened in 2002, and Pebblebrook acquired the lease rights in 2010. As part of a due diligence evaluation, WJE recommended a comprehensive condition assessment of the exterior wall systems based on the property's age, the condition of the existing repairs, and the extent of observed new distress.


The original Hotel Monaco building, designed by Robert Mills (architect of the Washington Monument), was constructed between 1839 and 1844; an addition, designed by Thomas Walter (Architect of the U.S. Capitol), was built between 1855 and 1866. It served as the General Post Office until 1897, then the Tariff Commissions Building from 1921 until recently, when it was converted to a hotel after a period of abandonment. Standing four stories tall and occupying an entire city block, it was the first all marble building in the District of Columbia. It was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1972.


WJE has provided consulting services on a series of interior and exterior repair, restoration, and historic preservation projects, including a multiyear exterior stone stabilization and repair program, and conservation of the Electricity, Fidelity, and Steam relief by Guido Butti.

The exterior dimension stone masonry walls are composed of marble in the Neoclassical style, including Corinthian columns and pilasters, triangular pediments at the third-floor windows, rusticated stone at the ground floor, stone dentils at the cornice, and a water table at the third floor. The wood double-hung windows are glazed with true divided lites comprised of single-pane glass.

The exterior repair and restoration program included stabilization of loose stone as well as the fabrication and installation of new stone elements to replace missing or unsalvageable original fabric using material sourced from the original construction quarry.