Weymouth: Washington Post will seek new offices

The Washington Post
The Washington Post will consider leaving its building in downtown Washington, D.C., Publisher Katharine Weymouth told staff in an email Friday. “Our goal is to give us a more modern, bright, open and efficient building that better supports and advances our mission into the future,” she wrote.

Post business reporter Jonathan O’Connell calls the building “dated” and says the District government has assessed the Washington Post Co.’s properties in downtown D.C. at “nearly $80 million.”

The Washington Post building in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“All the President’s Men” was not filmed at the building, O’Connell notes:

The 5th floor newsroom was later canonized in the 1976 film about Watergate coverage, “All the President’s Men,” which inspired a generation of future journalists but did not feature the actual newsroom, at [then Publisher Katharine] Graham’s insistence. Filmmakers instead constructed a Hollywood replica featuring details down to the stickers on the desk of then-executive editor Ben Bradlee’s secretary.

Robert Redford and Bob Woodward toured the Post’s newsroom last July for a photo shoot by Annie Leibovitz. As this photo by Post reporter Mike DeBonis shows, their visit affected productivity.

Here’s Weymouth’s memo:

I wanted to let everyone know that we are actively exploring relocating our headquarters.

This building has given us so much and has watched history unfold. It is hard to imagine moving after so many years. And yet, once we removed the presses from this building over ten years ago, we were no longer tied to this particular location. We understand that this is a big undertaking and a change for all of us. We take all of this seriously.

Our goal is to give us a more modern, bright, open and efficient building that better supports and advances our mission into the future. Our preliminary analysis suggests that a move will make good operational and economic sense, however we have not yet decided on where or when.

We wanted to let you know what we are thinking at this early stage.

We have begun to assemble a small and talented team of real estate and design professionals. We have selected Studley, Inc. and JM Zell Partners, Ltd as our real estate advisors. We are also in the process of interviewing space planners and architects.

Our next step is to work with them to engage the market for our current headquarters, identify sites where we could relocate, design our new space, and develop a realistic timeline for a move.

In the coming months, you may see people poking around the office from time to time and may be asked to participate in a survey or a short interview with one of our space planners.

We will keep you updated as this process moves along.

Katharine

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