Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fireman's Fund

Fireman's Fund Building, Penn Quarter

Built in 1882, the Fireman's Fund Building at the corner of 7th Street and Indiana Avenue NW was originally the office for the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1863 in San Francisco, the FFIC was thusly "named for an arrangement in which [the Fund] paid 10 percent of [its] profits to widows and orphans of firefighters"--a mandate that continues to this day.

The Firemen's Fund has been an integral player in some of America's most noteworthy events and construction achievements, including paying all claims from the Chicago and Boston fires; rebuilding Virginia City, Nevada, after fire destroy three-quarters of the town; insuring "horseless carriages;" insuring movie studios against the risk of producing "talkies;" and underwriting construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as paying out claims on disasters ranging from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina.

The building is located at 325 Seventh Street NW and is part of a larger commercial space that includes a 12-story office building. The building's tenants include Starbucks, the U.S. Department of Justice, the American Hospital Association, and the National Retail Federation.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential (Janet M. Kincaid, 06/07)

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