The Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania is picturesque and prime real estate--every tourist gets the word that it's historic, beautiful and a must-see stop.
But "America's Fun Place" has lost its crowds and cache over the years.
Even lunch hour can be a lonely place. And it's costing the federal government $6 million a year to maintain.
Now, mogul Donald Trump has been awarded redevelopment rights, with plans to turn the building into a 250-room luxury hotel complete with presidential suites, restaurants, spa, library, museum and more.
“We are extremely honored and committed,” said daughter Ivanka Trump, “to making this the finest hotel in the country, if not the world.”
City leaders say it's great economic news. But eateries and shops here aren't so happy.
“Stores and the food court downstairs will have to be closed by 2014, so pretty much you just have to find another place to position,” says Ricky Harrell, Jr., an assistant store manager.
Others who enjoy the historic ambiance have mixed feelings.
“If we're losing lots of money on it, maybe that's a way to do it,” says D.C. resident Barbara Brown. “But I would hope we could make it still accessible to the city, that it wouldn't be so high-class, that nobody could ever come in and have lunch.”
There's also the iconic clock tower. You can take an elevator all the way up to the observation deck run by the National Park Service--where a wistful Steve Schrader was gazing out.
“In case it's no longer open to the public, I wanted to come up to take a look,” says Schrader, a D.C. resident.
Not to worry. Under the deal, Trump must maintain public access to the tower and preserve the building's historic features.