The Watergate Hotel, made infamous by a political scandal that was instrumental in ending President Richard Nixon’s administration, is likely to be auctioned in the coming days.
A 30-day foreclosure notice that was sent to hotel owner Monument Realty last month will soon expire, following the company defaulting on its loan, with an outstanding $40 million USD ($49.91 million USD) balance listed.
The complex was developed by the Italian firm Società Generale Immobiliare, which paid $10 million USD for 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land in the early 1960’s. On this site, Italian architect Luigi Moretti designed six buildings for the site: a hotel, two office buildings, three apartment buildings and a retail center.
In 1972, the Democratic National Committee had its headquarters on the sixth floor of the 11-story 2600 Virginia Avenue building. On May 28, 1972, a team of burglars working for Nixon’s re-election campaign put wiretaps and took photos in and near the DNC chairman’s office. The wiretaps were monitored from a motor lodge across the street.
During a second burglary on June 17, 1972, when seeking to replace a malfunctioning “bug” and collect further intelligence, five burglars were arrested, and henceforth the Watergate scandal began.
The complex, consisting of the buildings at 2500, 2600, and 2650 Virginia Ave. NW and 600 and 700 New Hampshire Ave. NW, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 21, 2005.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice now lives in the Watergate South