Washington Post’s possible new HQ has a Dan Brown connection

The Washington Post signed a letter of intent to move to new headquarters, Jonathan O’Connell reported on Twitter Tuesday:


The building is on D.C.’s Franklin Square, which figures prominently in Dan Brown’s 2009 novel “The Lost Symbol.” (The Almas Shriners are based there, too.) I purchased a copy of the book to see if any startling connections exist between the Post’s potential new home and the shadowy world symbologist Robert Langdon and CIA Office of Security Director Inoue Sato investigate in the novel.

Chapter 90:

Langdon shook his head. He knew Franklin Square was one of the older sections of Washington, but he wasn’t familiar with the address. He looked at the tip of the capstone, and read downward, taking in the entire text.

The secret hides within The Order Eight Franklin Square

Chapter 97:

“Eight Franklin Square must exist,” Sato insisted. “Look it up again!”

Nola Kaye sat at her desk and adjusted her headset. “Ma’am, I’ve checked everywhere . . . that address doesn’t exist in D.C.”

“But I’m on the roof of One Franklin Square,” Sato said. “There has to be an Eight!” …

“Okay,” Nola said, eyeing her screen, “I see the problem. One Franklin Square is the name of the building . . . not the address. The address is actually 1301 K Street.”

The Washington Post Co. announced last February that it planned to explore a sale of the Post’s headquarters, which it moved to in 1950. The Post Co. sold the paper to Jeff Bezos later that year, and announced it would sell the old building.

On Twitter, O’Connell notes that no lease exists yet, but the “clock is ticking,” language Brown might endorse.


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  • 70sgrad

    In real life, Franklin Square was the site of a major breakthrough in physics. Charles Townes sat on a park bench early one morning in 1951 and thought about amplifying microwaves. He jotted equations on the back of an envelope, and that work became the basis for a Nobel Prize.