Lost History: Oak Lawn and an Aerial View Before the Washington Hilton

This is an aerial view of Temple Heights and Oak Lawn, the current site of the Washington Hilton, north of Dupont Circle.

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aerial view of Temple Heights in the early 1930s (Library of Congress)
aerial view of Temple Heights in the early 1930s (Library of Congress)

About Tom

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.

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Washington, D.C., circa 1931. "Fifteenth Street at Pennsylvania Avenue." Note the traffic lights, which made their D.C. debut in 1926, as well as the traffic-cop gazebo at center ("NO LEFT TURN") and streetcar switch tower to its left. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Looking Up 15th St. at Pennsylvania Ave. in 1931

This great old photo shows the view looking north on 15th St., just east of …

  • What WAS Oak Lawn? (If I’m orienting myself correctly – is that Conn Ave. in the foreground, meeting S Street on the lower right?)

    • PeteyKay

      I think that’s Conn. Ave. in the foreground, and Columbia Rd. heading to the upper left. 19th St. behind the land and Florida Ave. on the right. T St. heading off in the 1 o’clock direction.

  • Braulio Agnese
  • 7r3y3r

    Anyone know why it was called Temple Heights? Or Oak Lawn? I’ve always wondered why the post office at T and Florida was called the Temple Heights Station.

  • Anon

    Most of the buildings pictured still exist. The Hilton and Universal Buildings are hideous. Though I’ve seen the images of FLW’s Crystal complex and am not a huge fan…I think they would have stood the test of time better than what was built.