The building at 3100 Washington Boulevard in Clarendon is a visually arresting structure.
This Streamline Moderne-style storefront was the home of Dan Kain Trophies, which was the store in Arlington for trophies, ribbons and plaques for many years. Although Dan Kain Trophies is now located in Merrifield in Fairfax County, it still has a major impact on the community; so much so that although the building is currently a restaurant called Lyon Hall, many Arlingtonians still call it the Dan Kain Building.
The Dan Kain Building, shown above in 1998, was constructed in the mid-1940s for Frank Lyon, who rented it out to a series of businesses selling appliances, electronics and finally furniture. In 1963, Dan Kain moved his trophy business, which he had established in his home, into the building, and Dan Kan Trophies stayed there for 40 years, providing not just Arlington but northern Virginia with signs, trophies and other materials for government and private groups. In 1973, ads appeared in the Washington Post for “Special Prices for Bowling Leagues.” With its specialized products, friendly service and unique home, Dan Kain Trophies became an institution.
In 1988, the County Board unanimously approved the Dan Kain Building as a Local Historic District. It is an excellent example of the Streamline Moderne style of architecture, with its lack of ornamentation, streamlining, and distinctive wrap around to North Highland Street. The interior was renovated in 2004, and Dan Kan Trophies, now owned by longtime employee Jim Preziotti, left Washington Boulevard to relocate to 2207 N. Pershing Drive.
A GSA federal contract in 2009 to make trophies and signs was an indication of the business’s continuing vitality. However, the economy’s downturn hurt Dan Kain Trophies; budgets set aside for trophies, medals and plaques were diminished as belts were tightened. When the Pershing Drive location was scheduled to be torn down in 2010, the business ended up moving to Merrifield, where rent is cheaper. However, Dan Kain Trophies is still in business, marking people’s milestones and helping preserve memories. And the building to which it is linked still stands proudly, still a vital part of Clarendon’s business district.
What about you?
What are your memories of Dan Kan Trophies and its building?