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An occasional series on restrooms of interest. Taking suggestions: ldepillis@washingtoncitypaper.com.

My column this week involves the General Services Administration, which involved a visit to the agency’s handsome headquarters at 1800 F Street NW. The building, constructed in 1917, has a dignified patina on its wide first-floor hallways and grand staircases. And it’s going through a major modernization that will include shiny retail bays fronting the street.

But as with many once-grand federal facilities, it outfitted some of its more functional spaces in a more plebeian style. The sink countertops are faux-marble formica, the stalls indistinguishable from what you might find in any modern public school. Which stands to reason: Why should the federal government’s landlord have anything better than its tenants?