Smithsonian Institution Building from Pennsylvania Avenue in 1874

We are loving the Smithsonian Archives! This is a great one from 1874.

Looking south from the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street, the silhouette of the Smithsonian Institution Building is seen in the distance. The photograph, taken by William Henry Holmes and signed "W.H.H. Phot.," shows horse-drawn carriages along the avenue of storefronts. Above the first building to the right of 11th Street, the sign reads "Latimer & Cleary Auction and Commission Merchants", the next building has a sign "Star Buildings," and the third building "Metropolitan."
Looking south from the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street, the silhouette of the Smithsonian Institution Building is seen in the distance. The photograph, taken by William Henry Holmes and signed “W.H.H. Phot.,” shows horse-drawn carriages along the avenue of storefronts. Above the first building to the right of 11th Street, the sign reads “Latimer & Cleary Auction and Commission Merchants”, the next building has a sign “Star Buildings,” and the third building “Metropolitan.”

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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View of the Smithsonian Institution Building looking east up B Street (Independence Ave) towards the U.S. Capitol. Grounds are landscaped following a plan laid out by Andrew Jackson Downing, with the Castle nestled among trees. Visible amidst the trees is the Magnetic Observatory, built in 1853. People stand along the fence installed along the sidewalk on B Street In this image, the central roof of the Castle is intact and the small towers have the caps on them. In January of 1865, a fire destroyed the central roof and the caps on the towers, so this photograph had to have been taken prior to January 1865 and is most likely April 1863. The Capitol dome, seen in the distance, is not yet completed

Look at the Smithsonian and Capitol in 1865

What an awesome photo from the Civil War era. You’re looking up what is Independence …

  • John M

    Ghosts,

    The address for the “New National Era” was 418 11th Street NW, which I believe was behind where this photograph was taken. I’ve been trying to find a photo of the office of the “New National Era” for a while now but have been unable to, although like this photo it has been close but outside of the photo capture.

    You can see the old Star building to the right.

    Thanks for finding and posting!

    John