|August 2002--Architectural drawing by Hickok Warner Fox Architects shows how the refurbished and expanded DNC headquarters will look.|
|September 2002--The DNC, DCCC and DSCC work out of the Democratic headquarters
building at 430 South Capitol Street, S.E.; Democrats also are renting
offices in the nearby building at 499 South Capitol. The headquarters
building has become crowded and does not meet technology needs of the party.
Former DNC chair Joe Andrew initiated the idea of constructing a new building
to house party headquarters and his successor Terry McAuliffe has continued
to advance the project. At the DNC's summer 2002 meeting in
Las Vegas drawings for a refurbished and expanded headquarters building
Seeking to bring in as much money as possible in advance of the new rules on soft money, which take effect after the November 2002 elections, the DNC attracted some very large donations for the building project; mogul Haim Saban of "Power Rangers" fame made a record contribution of $7 million.
The DNC had put a refundable $100,000 deposit on a lot at 501 C Street SW in Washington, DC and plans were underway to hold a groundbreaking for a new $20 million ($32 million including technology project), state-of-the-art, 127,451 square-foot headquarters building in Spring 2002, and to move into the new building in December 2003, in time for the 2004 elections.
However, there were concerns that the building endeavor would distract and draw resources from the party's focus on elections. Further, the C Street site was not nearly as convenient to Capitol Hill as is the current headquarters on South Capitol Street. The DNC therefore turned its attention back to buying the building adjacent to its current building, owned by the National Democratic Club, and doing a renovation and expansion. The deal was closed the week of September 16, 2002.
Other moves were afoot. On August 8, 2002 the DSCC announced that it had purchased a new headquarters building at 120 Maryland Avenue, NE, just across the street from the Hart Senate Office Building. DSCC acquired the building from the ACLU; the price tag will be just over $4 million including renovations, and the building will be paid off by the fall. The DSCC plans to move in November 2002 as the next cycle begins. It will retain space in the DNC building as well.
Infrastructure includes more than just buildings, and McAuliffe has made significant investments to upgrade the party's technology, both nationally and in the states. For example, in prepared remarks to the Wisconsin State Democratic Convention in Madison on June 7, 2002 McAuliffe stated, "That's why we sent the Wisconsin state party a new computer server last year and the consulting services to get it up and running. That's why we sent one of our best communications people, Lesley Sillaman, to run the press operation up here. That's why we invested $50,000 to modernize your voter file, and I'm proud to say that I've brought the balance of that money with me today."
|May 2002--The lot at 501 C Street SW where the DNC had initially planned to put its new headquarters.|
The RNC building at 310 First Street, SE, which has four floors and a basement, totals 92,590 square feet; the second floor is taken up by the NRCC.
Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.