This certainly isn’t the most beautiful building in the world. Its wiring is sketchy, it leaks when it rains, and it probably was ready to be torn down several years ago. But, for those of us who worked on the 2006 Webb for Senate campaign, we’ll always have fond memories of 1916 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington.
I remember the early days of Webb’s candidacy in early March 2006, when Steve Jarding and Lee Diamond (photo after the “flip”) were driving around Northern Virginia, looking for affordable (aka, “cheap”, since the campaign had very little money) office space suitable for Webb’s budding campaign. They finally found what they were looking for, right near Courthouse Metro and – perhaps just as importantly – close to several bars and restaurants like Ireland’s Four Courts, Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, California Tortilla, and Rhodeside Grill. Webb staffers held many lunches and many “meetings” at those establishments, no doubt providing a significant boost to the local economy. 🙂 Inside that building, the Webb for Senate team on the 3rd floor, and the volunteers on the 2nd floor, somehow managed to pull off a victory that pretty much nobody thought was possible when 2006 began. That victory came, of course, with a big assist from an anti-Bush tsunami and a huge cowboy-booted foot in George Allen’s mouth, but we’ll take it nonetheless!
Anyway, it now appears that there are plans to demolish Webb’s old headquarters and replace it with “stores and restaurants on the sidewalk level…200 residential units, two open courtyards and an underground parking garage.” Sounds like a major, much needed, upgrade. Still, I’ll miss driving by 1916 Wilson Boulevard and remembering the excitement of the 2006 Webb-Miller and Webb-Allen races. Good times.
Among many other fond memories of the Webb for Senate HQ at 1916 Wilson Boulevard, I’d definitely have to list the rally with Jim Webb and John Kerry held in the parking lot (see photos above and after the “flip”) the day before the June 13 Democratic primary. Kerry’s endorsement was a big one for Webb in the Democratic primary, and 300 supporters turned out to celebrate.
Of course, I also remember the hordes of volunteers – ably guided by people like the extraordinary Mary Detweiler, and of course Josh Chernila – descending on 1916 Wilson Boulevard during the fall of 2006. People like filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler from LA, a group of law students from Yale (intent on protecting the vote), senior citizens, high school kids, and “Real Virginians” of all types, all fired up to elect Jim Webb, defeat George Allen, and help take our country back from the disastrous, Republican misrule of Bush, Cheney, Hastert, DeLay, etc. The energy was incredible, and in the end it helped us take back the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008. Now, we need to make sure we don’t lose that energy, or even worse, cede it to fired-up folks on the far right. If we let that happen, then a “wrecking ball” will come down not just on 1916 Wilson Boulevard, but also (metaphorically) on all the progress we’ve made in the last few years. With that, enjoy the photos…and the memories!