The Venue

Located at 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, the historic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium has served as the site of important political, cultural, and social events since the 1930s.

First known as the Departmental Auditorium, the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium is the most dramatic example of Classical Revival architecture in the Federal Triangle—a massive complex of government buildings constructed during the 1930s as part of a federally funded urban redevelopment project designed to reflect the “dignity and power of the Nation.”

On February 25, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the auditorium, opening the door to the numerous historical events that have taken place through the years. President Roosevelt returned on October 29, 1940 to initiate the Selective Service System lottery. Other draft lotteries were held in the auditorium in 1941 and 1942. President Harry S. Truman hosted the 1949 signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in the auditorium, which established the North American Treaty Organization (NATO).

The building was renamed in 1987 in honor of Andrew W. Mellon, who oversaw the development of the Federal Triangle complex while serving as Secretary of the Treasury from 1921 to 1932. The Mellon Auditorium was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a component of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site in 1966. In more recent years, the building has been used for a vast array of functions and has even served as a set for several movies and television shows.

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