Walter E. Washington Convention Center

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Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C. Convention Center.JPG
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center at Mount Vernon Square
Address801 Mt. Vernon Place NW
LocationWashington, D.C.
Coordinates38°54′18″N 77°01′23″W / 38.9051°N 77.023°W / 38.9051; -77.023
Enclosed space
 • Total space2,300,000 sq ft (210,000 m2)
 • Exhibit hall floor703,000 sq ft (65,300 m2)
 • Breakout/meeting77 rooms
ParkingPay parking nearby
Public transit accessWashington Metro
WMATA Green.svgWMATA Yellow.svg at Mount Vernon Square station

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is a 2,300,000-square-foot (210,000 m2) convention center located in Washington, D.C., owned and operated by the city's convention arm, Events DC. Designed in a joint venture by the Atlanta-based architecture firm Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates, Washington, DC- based architects Devrouax & Purnell Architects Planners PC and Mariani and Associates, the convention center is located in a superblock bounded by Mount Vernon Square and 7th, 9th and N streets, N.W. It is served by the Mount Vernon Square station on the Yellow and Green lines of the Washington Metro. It was completed in 2003.

Major events[edit]

Six of the nine official inaugural balls for the 2005 second inauguration of George W. Bush were held at the convention center.[1]

In 2006, the Council of the District of Columbia approved legislation naming the then-Washington Convention Center in honor of the city's first home rule mayor, the late Walter E. Washington.[2] In 2008, the WCSA Board of Directors agreed to expand the newly built convention center by 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2).[3]

Six of the 10 official balls of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama took place there, including the first-ever Neighborhood Ball.[4]

The center was the principal site of the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit hosted by President Barack Obama.[5]

On November 10, 2011, ground was broken on the 14-story Washington Marriott Marquis, a $520 million, four-star, 1,175-room "convention center headquarters hotel" with more than 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of meeting room space.[6] Also in 2011, the convention center hosted a major fight card with a welterweight championship match between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.[7]

In 2013, it was announced that the Walter E. Washington Convention Center would be the 5 year host of Otakon, the Japanese and East Asian culture convention that was held since 1999 in the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland, starting with Otakon 2017 and going at least until Otakon 2021 which was considered to be a "great win" for Washington, D.C.'s convention business with an estimated $25 million annual revenue for D.C. and over 30,000 visitors expected during the time Otakon is in D.C.[8]

The pop culture convention Awesome Con debuted at the center in 2013. After a successful debut (and some growing pains), the annual event has grown to become one of the largest fan conventions on the East Coast of the United States.[9] The 2013 event drew about 7,000 attendees. The 2017 event hosted 70,000 attendees. Celebrity guests have included David Tennant, John Boyega, Stan Lee, Alex Kingston, William Shatner, George Takei and many others.[10]

Since 2014 the National Book Festival has been held at the center.[11]

In 2016, Otakon revealed at their Road to D.C. panel part of Otakon 2016 that the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will actually be the 8 year host of Otakon, starting with Otakon 2017 and going through at least until Otakon 2024.

The Frederick Classic on the Hill women's gymnastics tournament is held at the convention center.[12]

The old Washington Convention Center[edit]

The previous Washington Convention Center was located one block southwest at 909 H Street NW, occupying the city block bounded by New York Avenue, 9th Street, H Street and 11th Street.[13] Construction on the center began in 1980, and it opened on December 10, 1982.[14] At 800,000 square feet (74,000 m2), it was the fourth largest facility in the United States at the time. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, numerous larger and more modern facilities were constructed around the country, and by 1997 the Washington Convention Center was only the 30th largest facility.[15]

After being replaced by the new Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the old convention center was imploded at approximately 7:30 a.m. on December 18, 2004.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Actors, Musicians to Entertain Thousands". Associated Press. January 13, 2005; Weeks, Linton. "Dashing and Dancing". Washington Post. January 21, 2005.
  2. ^ Stewart, Nikita. "Renaming Would Honor 1st Home-Rule Mayor". Washington Post. November 29, 2006.
  3. ^ Samuelson, Ruth. "$10 Million Expansion Planned for Washington Convention Center". Washington City Paper. December 8, 2008. Accessed September 2, 2011; "Walter E. Washington Convention Center Plans $10M Expansion". Washington Business Journal. December 5, 2008. Accessed September 2, 2011.
  4. ^ Amy, Leaman (January 5, 2009). "Obama to Host Virtual Ball". Washingtonian magazine. Retrieved May 4, 2009.; "Obama adds 'Neighborhood Ball' for D.C. residents". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. January 5, 2009. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  5. ^ Halsey III, Ashley; Ruane, Michael E.; Shaver, Katherine (April 8, 2010). "Nuclear Security Summit Promises Gridlock for Downtown D.C." Washington Post. Retrieved April 12, 2010.; Brown, Emma (April 12, 2010). "Downtown Area Prepares to Cope with Disruptions from Summit". Washington Post. Retrieved April 12, 2010.; Thomson, Robert (April 12, 2010). "The Week Ahead for Traffic, Transit". Washington Post. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  6. ^ Kravitz, Derek. "Convention Center Hotel Begins to See Light of Day". Washington Post. November 11, 2010; O'Connell, Jonathan. "Deal Reached on Convention Center Hotel". Washington Post. July 7, 2010.
  7. ^ "Case Study: Big-Time Boxing in Washington, D.C. is a Knockout". Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  8. ^ Otakon Selects Washington, DC as Future Site of Five Consecutive Conventions Leading American Exposition of Asian Pop Culture Enthusiasts to Meet in Nation’s Capital, 2017-2021. Destination D.C. August 14, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  9. ^ Awesome Con - About Us
  10. ^ Over Awesome Con weekend, D.C. will prove its geek-to-wonk ratio
  11. ^ Charles, Ron (2014-01-09). "National Book Festival to relocate from the Mall to the D.C. convention center". Style. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  12. ^ "Frederick Classic on the Hill Gymnastics Tournament". Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  13. ^ Old Washington Convention Center Site, City Guide, Retrieved May 9, 2007
  14. ^ Pianin, Eric. "Gala Debut Is Set For Long-Awaited Convention Center". Washington Post. December 10, 1982.
  15. ^ A History of the Washington Convention Center Washington Convention Center website, Retrieved April 13, 2010
  16. ^ Old Convention Center Imploded, Retrieved May 9, 2007

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′18″N 77°01′23″W / 38.9051°N 77.023°W / 38.9051; -77.023