The Hatchet has a new home for the first time in two decades – moving to a renovated, independently owned F Street townhouse on Sunday.
The townhouse, located at 2148 F St., doubles the space for The Hatchet’s journalists, designers, programmers and business staff. In addition to an expanded newsroom and business office, the townhouse includes a basement conference room to hold educational trainings for GW’s student-reporters.
The newspaper had rented its G Street townhouse from the University since 1994, the year after it became financially and editorially independent from GW. The landlord-tenant relationship between The Hatchet and the University ends with the move, and the newspaper will save about $4,300 in rent each month.
The nonprofit Home for The Hatchet – run by Hatchet alumnus and board of directors member Ken Chaletzky – is running a $2 million fundraising drive for the new building.
The Hatchet staff produced the final issue of the 110th volume in the new office Sunday. Brianna Gurciullo, a junior double majoring in journalism and political science, takes over as editor in chief at midnight.
While we cherish our new home, the staff has spent the last couple weeks memorializing 2140 G St. Sarah Ferris, the outgoing managing editor, encapsulated those feelings in her final column:
It was impossible not to be overwhelmed by the emptiness of 2140 G St., which has served as a training ground and a second home to thousands of student journalists. I’ll probably never fully grasp the enormity of this institution, but moving out of that townhouse certainly brought me close.
You lift blue bound volumes piled onto shelves at the townhouse and physically feel the weight of its history. You read letters and reports from nine university leaders pressed into files. You see the front page photos of students rioting outside Thurston Hall, a campus shaken by a presidential assassination attempt and a burning Pentagon building.
You realize that you are following decades of editors who sat on the same couches, met with the same administrators and drank on the same beaches in Ocean City. All at once, you are inspired and emboldened by the traditions – and terrified of dismantling them.