lafayette building

Project Information

The Lafayette Building was built in 1940 to serve as the headquarters of the Federal Loan Agency and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). The building’s significance lies primarily in its association with RFC chairman, Jesse Holman Jones, and the role played by the RFC and its subsidiaries in financing the wartime mobilization of American Industry. In addition to its association with the RFC and Jesse Jones, the Lafayette Building is also a good example of “Stripped Classical” architecture, which was a popular style for government and other public buildings in Washington D.C in the 1940s. It was also one of the earliest government office buildings in Washington D.C. to be centrally air-conditioned. The Lafayette building is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Harboe Architects’ personnel, formerly with Austin AECOM, served as the preservation architects. They were key members of the General Services Administration’s “Design Excellence” team of design professionals selected for the remodeling and restoration of the building along with DMJM Rottel interior design and WSP Flack + Kurtz MEP engineers. 

GSA asked the team to remodel large portions of the building for new tenant office space and restore the elements that were deemed contributing to the building’s historic significance.  As the preservation architects,  Harboe Architects’ work included the proposed restoration of the building’s exterior limestone and granite cladding,  metal windows, and storefronts, as well as the interior restoration of the historic RFC office, meeting spaces, historic corridors, and public bathrooms. Harboe Architects prepared and designed the construction documents for the significant historic features of this project.  The work was completed within the set budget provided and followed the quality control/quality assurance standards specified by the GSA.  Construction is ongoing and estimated to cost $200 million.

Title Lafayette Building
Work Completed Exterior Restoration and Interior Rehabilitation
Date Completed 2018
Client General Services Administration
Location Washington, DC
Architect of Record AECOM