Corcoran Historic Doors to be Restored

Corcoran doors
Made of solid oak and covered in layers of decorative bronze, the 119-year-old “night doors” will be restored thanks to a gift from American Express.
March 14, 2016

The historic doors that have graced the Corcoran building’s 17th Street entrance since 1897 are being restored thanks to a gift from American Express. 

Made of solid oak and coated in layers of decorative bronze, the 14-foot doors weigh an impressive 4,000 pounds and are a distinctive part of the Flagg building’s 19th-century Beaux-Arts design. Support from American Express will improve the doors’ functionality and help return the building’s entry façade to its original grandeur.

“American Express has a long history of protecting and preserving America’s most treasured places,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “The Corcoran building is a symbol of our nation’s prodigious cultural and artistic heritage. We hope the restoration of the doors will encourage students and visitors to continue exploring the legacy of this notable Washington landmark.”

The university is in the process of phased renovation plans designed to modernize and expand classroom space in the Flagg Building. Preserving the doors is in keeping with GW’s commitment to protecting the building’s legacy and integrity.

“This generous gift from American Express ensures that the doors continue to be an integral part of the Corcoran School for years to come,” Corcoran School Director Sanjit Sethi said. “GW’s commitment to restoration is only surpassed by its commitment to educating the next generation of creative practitioners.”