Paper Buildings  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   October 2001

Paper Buildings   

Could we possibly start seeing the words “posh” and “newspaper offices” in the same sentence?

By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (, a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      

When USA Today staffers move into the new Gannett headquarters this fall, they will be farther away from Washington, D.C., but the digs are something else. Could we possibly start seeing the words "posh" and "newspaper offices" in the same sentence? Here's how the brand-new building stacks up against some others in the country:

USA Today
intersection of I-495 and Dulles Toll Road, in northern Virginia's office park and high-tech corridor
When Built: 1999-2001
Amenities: cafeteria, health club, credit union, walking/jogging path, two tennis courts, two basketball courts, two volleyball courts and softball field with picnic pavilion, indoor parking for employees and outdoor parking for visitors
Most Extravagant Perk: "If you can't leave your desk, you can have food delivered to you" from within the building, says Blake Morrison, a reporter on the national desk.
Worst Aspect: "One is the commute," Morrison says. "I'll miss the view that we have now [across the Potomac from Washington]. Clearly the view from Tysons Corner is not dramatic."

Baltimore Sun
501 North Calvert Street
When Built: 1948-49, renovated 2001
Amenities: not many
Most Extravagant Perk: "It doesn't leak as much as it used to," says Mike Himowitz, an electronic news editor. "There is a garage with a walkway so you don't have to get wet or hot in the summer.... It really is a bridge; they spent a fortune on it in the '80s."
Worst Aspect: "Everything is a lot more spread out.... We seem to be doing a lot more walking than we used to," Himowitz says. "Constant renovation. This place used to be an incredible dump.... They've fixed it up quite nicely."

Daily Oklahoman
9000 North Broadway, Oklahoma City
When Built: completed in 1991
Amenities: a lake with a waterfall and fountain, running trail, picnic pavilion, basketball and volleyball courts, and a fitness center
Most Extravagant Perk: "Their health club and jogging trail with the lake and the ducks and the fountains," says former columnist Jay Grelen. The view, he adds, "is impressive. You could see forever."
Worst Aspect: "The multitude of security cameras," Grelen says, which are located throughout the building.

Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News
400 North Broad Street
When Built: 1923-25
Amenities: cafeteria and fitness facility
Most Extravagant Perk: Yoga classes for $5 on Monday and Thursday, says reporter Nancy Phillips.
Worst Aspect: "The most abysmal food on the planet," Phillips says. "They just don't know how to cook."



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