Gallup Case Study

Building on a Legacy of Craftsmanship
Gallup Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Part Old Masonic Temple, part modern office and retail space, the iconic Gallup Building required just the right aesthetic finesse from New Leaf™ Performance Veneers to successfully blend past and present during a recent renovation.


The Gallup Building in Washington, D.C., is a unique merging of past and present—a combination of The Old Masonic Temple, a landmark structure originally built in 1867, and an 8-story retail and office space, built in 2000. The two are adjoined by a 20-foot-wide glazed atrium that serves to maintain a distinct separation between the historic Temple and the more recent 120,000-square-foot addition.

Gallup, an analytics and advisory company widely known for its public opinion polls, is the building’s keystone tenant, and its headquarters occupy 61,000 square feet over four floors—more than half of the building’s available space.

When the Gallup team wanted to renovate portions of its headquarters in both the historic and new sections of the building, they collaborated with Washington D.C. design firm Fox Architects to select materials and furnishings that would continue to honor and complement the existing architectural design palette set forth by the Masons. The renovation comprised a reception area, elevator bank, entryway, boardroom, conference room, and employee cafe.


Because each of the renovated areas are subjected to high traffic and daily use by staff and visitors, the design materials and furnishings needed to offer protection and durability against routine wear and tear. Visually, the finishes and fabrics also needed to reflect the sophisticated and reserved style already established in other areas of the building. The spaces had to be inviting and comfortable for staff, practical in relation to their everyday use, and aesthetically worthy of their historical context. To meet all of these requirements, Fox Architects selected New Leaf™ Performance Veneers in Quarter Sawn Birch with a Natural stain, complemented by a Matte Finish.

Beginning in the reception area, slatted wood panels trimmed by New Leaf Performance Veneer act as a focal point amid the white marble-like finish of a long, wide reception desk. This greeting area introduces three of the project’s main design elements—white marble, slatted wood, and New Leaf Quarter Sawn Birch surfaces—that remain consistent throughout the renovated spaces.

Moving to the elevator bank, New Leaf Performance Veneer is again paired with the slatted wood panels. The light colors of each work in striking contrast to the dark warm gray of the elevator doors.

This high-contrast dynamic continues into the boardroom where it’s met by a mix of sleek, warm black executive chairs around a large oval conference table. The boardroom includes a large media center and black credenza set against the light tone of the New Leaf Quarter Sawn Birch finish and slatted wood panels that comprise the rear wall. The panel combination continues around the room to an inset, floor-to-ceiling, veneer bookshelf and display area. Completing the space are black and gray furnishings in a small seating area, a large area rug in blues and golds, and a set of classic Windsor chairs.

Serving an entirely different function, the employee cafe, located in the newer section of the Gallup Building, remains true to the renovation’s established aesthetic. A large, central island, topped with a white quartzite surface and finished underneath in New Leaf, echoes the reception area, creating an inviting space for staff to congregate over lunchtime. The rear wall of the cafe offers a white laminate countertop for food and drink preparation. The storage drawers and cabinets below are also finished in New Leaf Quarter Sawn Birch, reinforcing the light wood tones throughout the space.

Finally, a smaller conference room pulls from the color palette and furnishing styles of the main boardroom, while fully replacing the slatted panels with New Leaf™ Performance Veneers. This meeting space includes two inset bookshelves, also fabricated in Quarter Sawn Birch, that are used to showcase The Gallup Poll reference collection.


“The project turned out beautifully,” says Andrew Winterstine, senior project manager at USA Millwork in Washington, DC. Winterstine noted that the Natural Matte Finish of Quarter Sawn Birch was strategically selected to enhance the slatted acoustic wood panels, white marble finish, and other materials used in the design. “Fabricating with New Leaf is efficient because it’s easy to work with and it’s prefinished, so it saves time and helps control project costs,” adds Winterstine.

New Leaf Performance Veneers in the Gallup Building mimic the character and grain of natural birch while providing consistency in both grain and color. This consistency also allows the Gallup team to add or replace New Leaf™ elements in the future and still achieve the same look and color quality.

Moreover, New Leaf provides a level of protection that traditional veneers simply can not offer in a demanding high-use office space like the Gallup headquarters. The durable layer of protection in New Leaf resists fading and withstands water and routine cleaning. It also offers critical impact resistance in the Gallup’s high-traffic areas, which are subject to incidental contact from people and furniture.

The predictable style and performance of New Leaf will provide this historic building with years of lasting beauty and durability.

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