View of Washington in the 1840s

Here is a painting of Washington from the late 1840s or 1850s, done by Augustus Köllner. The view is from an angle south of the Capitol, looking northwest. We just came across this watercolor while digging through the Library of Congress archives.

Drawing shows stables in the foreground and view of the city of Washington from southeast with the United States Capitol on the right, the White House in center background, and the Smithsonian castle and Washington Monument on the left.

Drawing shows stables in the foreground and view of the city of Washington from southeast with the United States Capitol on the right, the White House in center background, and the Smithsonian castle and Washington Monument on the left.


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  • ZZinDC

    Gorgeous! Notice that it shows the Washington Monument completed as it was originally designed, with the circle of columns around it. A little future-casting that didn’t come true!

  • Ernie

    Seems like this might have been the view from Duddington, just north of the current Garfield Park? Maybe it’s a little too far North for that.

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