There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Most D.C. councilmembers scrounge through government warehouses or rely on hand-me-downs to furnish their government offices. But Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham had only to hire a moving truck to transport furniture from his Whitman-Walker Clinic office. “It all became a nice ensemble, so I brought it with me,” says Graham, whose collection includes a few pieces from his previous office: a gorgeous long desk, tall bookshelf, and matching chair made of dark, polished oak. Graham says a clinic supporter donated $1.5 million to update Whitman-Walker’s interior in the early ’90s. When he left his post as executive director last year, Graham wanted to take some furniture with him. He says he offered to buy the pieces that weren’t already his, but clinic officers wouldn’t hear of it and presented them as gifts. “It was totally unsolicited on my part,” adds Graham, who estimates the furniture at a “few thousand dollars.” Of course, that was its original price tag. “Now you would have to appraise it as used,” he notes.