Built Environment: Interior

A couple weeks ago, I went into Dupont Circle to observe the outside of 1623 Connecticut Avenue NW, the building that houses the Dupont Circle Club. This week, I returned to observe the Dupont Circle Club again — but this time, I went to survey the interior of the Club’s space.

As I mentioned in my previous blogpost, the building was built in 1911, and just as the outside of the building is indicative of this fact, so is the inside. While the building’s age is much more obvious when looking at the exterior, one can also tell from certain details on the interior, such as the crown molding along the ceiling, the mantel of the fireplace, and some of the doors.

However, one thing about the inside of the Dupont Circle Club that is different from the outside of it is the tone. While the exterior of the building comes off to me as somewhat cold and intimidating, I felt like the inside gave off a very warm and welcoming feeling. This, I believe, is due to several reasons: first, a majority of the space is painted fairly warm and vibrant colors. I felt that this was particularly the case for the meeting room below.

Second, rather than using very big, bright overhead lighting, the Dupont Circle Club relies on natural light and smaller light fixtures mounted on the walls, which I felt created a much more homey and comfortable environment. Third, there were various posters and pamphlets (such as those pictured below) that indicate more than just one type of person is welcome in the Club’s space. Lastly, the people who help run the Club and who come to the Club to attend meetings are generally very welcoming people. During my time looking around, I had a number of people smile at me and greet me verbally.

Speaking of the people who make up the community at the Dupont Circle Club, I noticed that while I was there, it is primarily white and Black people in attendance. Furthermore, it seemed that the majority were male, but of course there were also a few females in attendance as well. This make up could potentially reflect the diversity levels in the larger Dupont Circle community, national statistics about who goes to addiction recovery centers, or both. However, it is impossible to say for sure with out looking further into this.

The rooms in which meeting are held more or less all look the same. All three meeting rooms have various addiction recovery related posters and other decorations on the wall and dark blue-cushion chairs lined up around the space. Additionally, all of the rooms that the Club owns and utilizes are all connected to one another, which creates a fairly open space that is very easy to navigate.

In addition to these three meeting rooms, there is also an office/reception desk area and a lobby. In the office area, there are (unsurprisingly) various business related items such as a desk with a computer and file cabinets. What was slightly surprising to see, however, was a pantry with various snacks and beverages. But for anyone who looks at the sheets of paper posted next to the reception window, they* will realize that all these items are the things the Club advertises selling. In the lobby, there is a big bulletin board with various advertisements and announcements. It is on this bulletin board that one will find the only object (that I found) that states the organization’s mission.

The only other indication of the site’s use is the piece of paper pictured below that can be found in various places that lists all of the different meeting times for all of the different groups.

However, the lobby area also has keys with name tags strung along the ceiling, which are meant to honor the Club’s key supporters, whose donations have helped keep the organization’s doors open.

*The use of “they” here is intentional because it is an all-inclusive, gender-neutral term.

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