Below is the Sanborn fire map for Washington Circle in 1888. It’s pretty amazing to see how many residential structures there are at the time. Not only that, but quite a few of them were frame structures (in yellow).

Sanborn fire insurance map of Washington Circle in 1888
Sanborn fire insurance map of Washington Circle in 1888

Here’s the Google Map of the same area today.

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.