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 …

  • ET

    This has to be later in the 1930s. The John Adams Building of the Library of Congress was opened for business in January 1939 and if you look at it the building is clearly finished – at least mostly from the outside at least – but the ground around it are clearly still in a state of disrepair.

  • JohnJ.Boylan

    In the upper-left corner the two baseball diamonds and tennis courts along the south shore of the Tidal Basin predate construction of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial which began in December, 1939. Note also the original clover-leaf configuration of the basin itself.

  • Steve in DC

    It looks like late 1935 or more likely, early or mid 1936. The Archives is essentially complete, but the FTC is not yet started, and the National Gallery site still has those older half-built structures sitting untouched.