Saving History

Bernie McCarthy and Tony Kriech
L-R: Bernie McCarthy and Tony Kriech

The Asphalt Institute’s first home in New York City in 1919 was selected because it was the center of the U.S. oil industry. As times changed, our need to be closer to Washington, D.C. and the Federal Highway Administration became more important.

We moved our headquarters to the University of Maryland, College Park Campus in January 1955 into a building built by the university for our use. We remained there until 1989 when we moved to our current headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky

In February of 2018 Professor Chuck Schwartz, Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland contacted AI President Pete Grass at the request of Professor Matt Witczak. Matt worked for the Asphalt Institute before his career in academia.

Chuck told us the former headquarters building was scheduled for demolition in the summer of 2018. He asked if we would like one last look before it was gone?
Pete and former AI President Bernie McCarthy visited the Potomac Building, as it was then known, later that month. The building was silent as Chuck, Bernie and Pete stood in the entrance hall adjacent to the large seal of the Asphalt Institute in the center of the foyer floor.

The building was filthy and in serious disrepair. For Bernie, a flood of memories came back. This video details what happened next. This “mission” was conducted in June of 2018 under the cover of darkness. The building was gone by September 2018.