The John A. Wilson Building, popularly known as the District Building from its construction in 1904-1908 until it was renamed in 1994, houses the offices of the District of Columbia mayor and the City Council. It is named to honor John A. Wilson, former chair of the City Council and council member of Ward 2 for 12 years. Designed in classical style of white marble, the building provided office space for the three presidentially appointed commissioners who ran the city government until 1967, and then for the appointed and elected DC City Council and mayors. In 1995 the DC City Council gave a real estate developer authority to negotiate a 20-year lease with the federal government to take over nearly two-thirds of the building because the city could not afford to repair it. In 1999 the mayor and City Council persuaded the U.S. government to allow the city to take the building back as the headquarters for the mayor and the City Council.
The Federation of Civic Associations, the umbrella organization for the separate black neighborhood associations, held meetings there during the segregation era.
Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, Buildings of the District of Columbia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 170-171.
Vanessa Williams, “D.C. Government Reclaims City Hall; EPA Giving up Stake in Wilson Building,” Washington Post, Nov. 11, 1999.
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