Really Old Pre-Civil War Photo of Washington

Now this is a really super old photo of Washington from around 1857. Click on it for a much larger version to study it. I believe this is a view looking southeast, and the Washington Monument would be just out of the frame on the right. Correct me if I’m mistaken. Also, you should be able to make out the Smithsonian in the distance.

- click image for more -
Washington, D.C., view with Smithsonian in the distance
Washington, D.C., view with Smithsonian in the distance

Source: 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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  • ET

    Considering the time frame it looks like you can see parts of columns and other building materials from the additions that the

    • ET

      Something happened to my comment …but what got eaten was that these materials look to be the additions that the Architect of the Capitol was working on in the 1850s.

  • Rick

    This ca 1855 photo from the Treasury building is on the Smithsonian website. More information about it is at:

  • Lake Braddock Photography

    You are looking south west! looks like this might be taken on top of the Union station or building along North Capital and E street or FSt NW