Need Your Help. Identify This Street

Any GoDCers out there recognize this block? I’m guessing that most of these buildings are gone, but maybe that church is still around?

Washington street in 1919
Washington street in 1919

Source: Smithsonian Institution Archives

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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  • Pete

    1700 16th St. Church of the Holy City?

  • Lance

    Yes, Church of the Holy City and likely a view of Corcoran Street looking westward toward 16th Street.

  • I’d also like to know what’s up with those trees?!

    • Looks like Pepco’s predecessor was through there. 😉

  • Ted Coltman

    I don’t think that’s Church of the Holy City, unless the entire tower has been moved or the entire church rebuilt since 1919. The building masses are just different. Also, there seems to be a slight rise in the street just before you get to the church, and a further slight rise alongside the church. With that topography, I was wondering if it could be M street SW, looking east past St. Vincent de Paul church at South Capitol, but while the building masses match better, the tower looks quite different today. The street also looks wide to my eye, so I wonder if it might be a view along a numbered north-south street?

  • Elfa Halloway

    Note that 16th Street does not have homes in that vicinity with steps leading to the first floor. But Corcoran Street does. Also, note the square building just before the church on the left. I don’t think it’s the Church of the Holy City on 16th and Corcoran Streets because the CHC pinnacles are taller.

  • leodegras
  • firecoalman

    This is a very broad street and could never have been Corcoran, which is a glorified alley. And wasn’t M S.W. always divided? The key may be that the street appears to narrow at the next block with the church.

  • 7r3y3r

    are those two sets of streetcar tracks in the middle of the road?

  • Bill Stokes

    Possibly Asbury United Methodist Church at the corner of 11th & K Streets NW…? If so, the photo would be taken from I Street or New York Avenue NW looking north…

    From this perspective: http://maps.google.com/?ll=38.901489,-77.027038&spn=0.000563,0.001321&t=h&z=20&layer=c&cbll=38.901489,-77.027038&panoid=VdhyX149SEXpao0QrEOsRQ&cbp=12,9.41,,0,0

    Here is the bell tower: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMDF1K_Asbury_United_Methodist_Church_Bell_Tower_Washington_DC

    • That might be it! It really looks close.

    • Ted Coltman

      I think you’ve probably got it!

  • Bella

    I believe this photo from 1919 was taken on 16th St NW at Riggs Place, NW, viewing south down 16th St. The church appears to be the Church of the Holy City (1895). The houses on the left would have been razed shortly thereafter to build the Chastleton (1920). The photographer’s vantage point is standing beside what would have been the very start of construction of the Scottish Rite Temple (1911-1915) (and is not in the photo). If you google maps street view to about 16th St NW and Riggs Pl NW or slightly north even from S St NW viewing south along 16th St NW, you should be able to see the parallel similarities clearly.

  • Delantae MsUnique Thomas

    I believe it’s uptown NW 13th Street.

  • John A. Bartelloni

    Saint Peter’s Roman Catholic Church at Second & C, SE?

  • Publius Washingtoniensis

    I’d say the trees are chestnuts, lost to the blight. The year 1919 would be just about right. As to location, the houses are big and right on the street, with little setback. This is an upper middle class neighborhood. This rules out M Street SW, which was dirt poor and would have been lined w/ pre-Civil War Navy Yard workers’ hovels and low end commercial structures in 1919. If I had to guess, I would say 13th Street, NW, in Columbia Heights. Looking south — there’s a church on the northeast corner of 13th and Fairmont or Girard that might matcht the one in the photo.

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    Taken from approx 1670 block of 16th st. looking South. Some of the houses still there but some torn down in probably the 20 and 30s as new old structures are now in its place. The church is the Church of the Holy City which is still there.

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    There should be a US law that all photos be documented as to where they were taken, that way we don’t have to sit back and wonder and search as to where they were taken. All photos not documented should be punishable by fine or 10 days in jail.