Munsey Trust Building

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Munsey Trust Building
Munsey Trust Building is located in Washington, D.C.
Munsey Trust Building
Location within Washington, D.C.
General information
Type Office
Location Washington, D.C., United States
Coordinates 38°53′50″N 77°01′53″W / 38.8972°N 77.0315°W / 38.8972; -77.0315Coordinates: 38°53′50″N 77°01′53″W / 38.8972°N 77.0315°W / 38.8972; -77.0315
Completed 1905
Demolished 1982
Roof 171 feet (52 m)
Design and construction
Architect McKim, Mead & White
Main contractor George Fuller Construction Company

"Munsey Trust Building" was a historic high-rise office building located in Washington, D.C., United States, on E Street, N.W., between 12th and 13th Streets (adjacent to the National Theatre (Washington, D.C.)).


The building's architect was McKim, Mead & White of New York City, and built for newspaper sydicate publisher, Frank A. Munsey (1854–1924). Known then as the "Dealer in Dailies" and the "Undertaker of Journalism", Munsey was extremely controversial and often feared and despised by both readers and reporters alike. But he anticipated many trends in modern journalism and his papers in the early 20th Century were often very pictorial and graphic plus being widely distributed, influential and popular. A contemporary of the much more famous William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951), also a "newspaper tycoon" and predecessor of the current Rupert Murdoch, the Australian publisher who migrated to Great Britain and later to the United States and has a similar reputation.

Construction of the "Munsey Trust Building" was completed in 1905. The building rose to 171 feet (52 m) containing 13 floors, and was one of the highest structures in the city at the time, besides the Washington Monument, the Capitol dome, the tower of the old Post Office headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue, and various church spires.

The first National Headquarters of the Girl Scouts of the USA was in Room 502 from 1913 until 1916.

After protests and court action to block demolition, the building was demolished in 1982, by contractor, for the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation.[1][2][3]

The site of the former building now contains the 16-story National Place Building.

There is also a similarly styled "Munsey Building" in Baltimore, Maryland by Baldwin & Pennington of Baltimore and also McKim, Mead and White of New York at the southeast corner of North Calvert and East Fayette Streets, across from the Battle Monument Square. Constructed in 1911 to replace after just five years, the previously just-constructed headquarters offices and printing plant (behind huge glass department store first-floor windows) of "The News" which he had just purchased in 1908 from Gen. Felix Agnus along with the ancient "The Baltimore American", one of the oldest papers in the country, published since 1773. These papers were later purchased from Munsey in 1923 by Hearst and merged as the daily "Baltimore News-Post" and Sunday's "Baltimore American" and later combined in 1964 as "The News American" After a few years, Munsey converted this building to serve as the headquarters to his newly chartered "Munsey Trust Company" founded 1913 which was reorganized two years later as "The Equitable Trust Company" with himself as chairman of the board. By the late 1990s, Equitable Trust had become one of the largest banks in Maryland and the Baltimore metropolitan area. By the 2000s it had been subsumed in a series of mergers and out-of-town take-overs by regional banks. Its name remains on the cornice of the Baltimore "Munsey Building", which was converted in 2010's to luxury apartments and condos, and after a series of fast-food shops on the ground floor replaced the ornate banking customer service lobby, finally an M & T Bank branch opened in the historic banking and newspaper headquarters building in 2013.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Munsey Trust Building". Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  2. ^ "Munsey Trust Building". Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  3. ^ "1982 WBC CRAFTSMANSHIP AWARDS WINNERS". Retrieved 2008-07-10. James Green - Hercules Demolition Corporation of Virginia Project: Munsey Trust Building 

External links[edit]