Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Chevy Chase Arcade

The Chevy Chase Arcade, like many of the buildings in the town center, is from the mid-1920s. It was one of several arcades that were built around DC, but most, if not all, of the others have since been demolished. The arcades were part of a trend to make DC more European, particularly more Parisian, since arcades were constructed all over Paris throughout the nineteenth century. These passages became the subject of Walter Benjamin's ambitious The Arcades Project, which was never completed due to his death. The remnants and fragments make up an enormous tome that theorizes the roles of arcades in the life of the flaneur, one of the most significant, yet elusive, figures of Modernism.

Untapped Paris has, among its other beautiful, waste-your-day-wistfully-longing features, a few pictures of one of my favorite arcades, the Passage du Grand Cerf. But, please, admire the charming modesty of little Chevy Chase before inevitably and absolutely blanching it with comparison.

And here's the Passage from the other, even more whimsical, entrance.


  1. I can still see the Parisian influence on the floor and the windows.
    Cruise Picture

  2. Good post, Lorin. I didn't know about Washington's arcades.

  3. I didn't know either. I can recommend the many beautiful arcades of Leeds.

  4. Thanks, Jack!

    Hey Dona! Thanks for reading! I forgot about the arcades in Leeds! They are gorgeous indeed, and, if not for the insanely cold temperatures on my visit, they might have convinced me to move there instead of Exeter. I'm glad it was cold.