Ask Graham Dunn if he suffers from acrophobia, and he’ll tell you absolutely not. “It’s hard to have a fear of heights with a view like this,” he says. He’s talking about the 12,000 square feet of unobstructed 360-degree vistas from the new observation deck at Central Place’s CEB Tower in Rosslyn, Va.—the tallest building in the DC metro area. And Dunn, the GM of the deck, has spent many a day since stepping into the role in March taking in the scene.
“It’s a completely different perspective on the monumental core of the city; Georgetown; Arlington, Va.; and beyond that must be seen to fully grasp,” he says. Operated by Legends, which also runs One World Observatory in NYC, the deck is 31 floors above it all; the viewing platforms are accessed by two high-speed glass elevators. “It’s a space that visitors will return to time and again,” says Dunn, who counts finally sharing the new outlook as one of the things he is most excited about. “For first-timers to DC, it’s the perfect starting point to get their bearings and see exactly how the city is laid out.”
Dunn’s days will be spent wherever his team (professionals who he says have put in the “hours and sweat equity to be proud of the venue”) needs him.
“There are so many details that will make up the experience here,” says the father of two. “My role will be making sure that the staff has the support they need to make every visit... special.”
In addition to the panoramas, there’s a 32nd-floor outdoor terrace (Dunn suggests going to the corner and looking straight down to street level—if you can stomach it), and food and beverage. The destination can also serve as an event venue for everything from galas to weddings year-round. “We hope to be the canvas for event planners to create unique experiences,” says Dunn. And, yes, there’s been plenty of interest. “We’ve had a flood of inquiries. … We’re excited
to start building special, memorable times within this space.”
So, where is Dunn’s office? On the bottom floor. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find him in the sky-high surrounds: He’ll be up there often, perhaps at one of his favorite spots—the southeast side of the building, looking out toward Reagan National Airport.
“Something about watching the helicopters travel up and down the Potomac and a clear view of planes taking off and landing taps... into my childhood,” finishes Dunn. “It never gets old.”