Missing Something in NoVA?

Location: The elevator in Potomac at Riverhouse, Pentagon City

Notice anything odd about this elevator panel? Look closely…

Did you count the floors? You notice that its missing one (or two).

First there is no first floor, which is common, “Ground Floor” and “First Floor” are interchangeable. But that there isn’t a 13th floor, now that I think is odd.

Wouldn’t those on the 14th know they are really on the 13th? Aren’t we a little past that superstition by now? Do you know of any other buildings that do this?

12 Comments so far

  1. Robis (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

    Wayan, the Hilton in Atlanta has no 9th floor. It has a 13th, but no 9th. Apparently, the architect or the builder or whoever refused to put in a 9th floor because 9 was their lucky number. Or at least that was the story the porter told me…

  2. Carl (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

    It’s not all that uncommon, actually.

  3. wayan (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

    Huh. In China, its common to skip the 4th floor – the sound for “4” being similar to unlucky, but I never knew a “9” issue.

    Also, looking more closely at this photo, I see that they have the annoying “G” for garage instead of ground floor. Just like NoVA to be so car-centric.

  4. Chris (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

    This is very common in NYC buildings as well.

  5. Doug (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    Many tall buildings have no 13th floor, being an “unlucky” number. In Mandarin, the English word “4” means death.

  6. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    I’ve seen the 13th floor missing constantly around the buildings in NoVA, and it’s not just DC, but SF, LA, etc. They chose to use L for Lobby, which is common the DC area, and G for Garage makes a lot of sense, Wayan…

  7. Mitch (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

    “What floor are you on?”

    “The 14th.”

    “No you’re not! Jump out and you will die earlier!”

  8. MappyB (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 5:11 pm

    Yeah, it’s pretty common to have places with no 13th numbered floor, but like you said, the 14th is the 13th. I don’t understand the superstition.

  9. Stone (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

    Interesting, I haven’t seen that on most modern buildings, but older buildings in NYC are notorious for not having a 13th floor.

    The building I work in is 11 stories, but actually has a magical “12th floor” which was used as a secret security center back in the day. Now it’s just storage.

  10. Reddudette (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 9:41 pm

    There is a building in Friendship Heights that doesn’t have the thirteen. Is just across from Saks.
    L is the first floor.
    DC just doesn’t have many buildings high enough for you to have noticed this I guess

  11. lizzy (unregistered) on September 28th, 2006 @ 10:22 am

    I recently moved into an apartment building in Silver Spring, MD. No 13th floor. I believe this is pretty common in tall buildings.

  12. duh (unregistered) on September 29th, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

    The Colonnade in Glover Park has no floor which is called the 13th.

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