What an excellent photo. It’s labeled as being sometime between 1900 and 1920. Any GoDCers out there able to pinpoint the actual date?

The Capitol from the Monument
The Capitol from the Monument

Source: Library of Congress

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  • ET

    I wish I knew my National Mall history better because I think that would be quite helpful. Clearly this was before the created what we have today. Too many trees in areas that don’t have them now.

    Unfortunately the big government buildings don’t help much. The Supreme Court, Adams Building (LoC), Longworth, and the National Gallery were built long after this. Ones that might be helpful are the two rectangular ones that look sort of like they are a market or train(?).

    • ET

      Would those long buildings be either the Pennsylvania Railroads Baltimore & Potomac (B&P) Railroad Passenger Terminal (on the National Mall at what is today New Jersey Avenue NW and Constitution) which was torn down in 1908 I believe?

      Would the McMillan Plan implementation provide clues?

      • Michael West

        The long buildings are the Old Census Building at First and B (Constitution). They were built in the 1880s and still there until at least 1932.

  • Bob

    The U.S. National Museum (as the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum was known in those days) was under construction from 1904 through 1909, and it looks complete in the photo (lower left), so the photo must have been taken no earlier than 1909.

  • Michael West

    The building behind (or, in this photo, to the immediate left of) the Russell Senate Office was built in 1915.

  • DC20009

    The Cannon House Office Building, the white building to the right of the Capitol, was completed in 1908. It seems complete in this photo – there’s no visible scaffolding or other construction material, but it’s hard to be definite. Further, the roof of Cannon was expanded in 1913 to provide more office space on the fifth floor. In the posted picture the roof looks somewhat different than the modern shot with the expanded roof (though I admit it’s not a striking difference) which makes me think your photo predates the roof expansion, so I would narrow your photo to between 1908 and 1913.