Do You Recognize This 1921 Aerial View of Washington?

Who recognizes parts of this view of Washington, D.C. from 1921? Click on it for a larger, more detailed version.

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1921 aerial view of Washington, D.C.
1921 aerial view of Washington, D.C.

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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  • John Solberg

    You are looking from around 17th & K toward Thomas Circle (which can be see in the upper right portion of the photograph).

  • Publius Washingtoniensis

    I agree. The domed white mansion (built by Boss Shepherd?) is at the northeast corner of Farragut Square. On the other side of the square, the large white building w/ two penthouses and awnings on the first floor windows is the Army-Navy Club.

  • Publius Washingtoniensis

    More … The mansions are “Shepherd Row.” Just to their left is Stoneleigh Court, a high-end apartment house that lasted into the 1960s. The large empty space to the left, just beyond the low buildings fronting on Connecticut Avenue, is the site of the Academy of the Visitation. John De Ferrari says it was demolished in 1923, so the actual date of this photo may be later than 1921. Also, one block east, on 16th Street, the Pullman Mansion, now the Russian Embassy, is recognizable due to its mansard roof, with the University Club directly adjacent to the north .

  • Landgraaf

    Key corridors are 16th Street leading into Scott Circle (Thomas Circle is off center in the upper margin) and Connecticut Avenue. As noted, Farragut Square sits in the lower-righ quadrant. One can see the land vacant and awaiting the Mayflower (1924?) in the lower-left quadrant. The school at the corner of 17th and L St, NW, still stands across from the National Geographic. I recall Stoneliegh Court, noted below.

    When viewed from this perspective, one can lament the replacement of some fine buildings, but some readers can well recall that not all were so charming to a pedestrian’s eye. The post-1980s development is likely the next generation of eyesores that will be removed within the lifetimes of many here. I do note some fine houses and could enjoy having a Google Earth Streetview taken in 1921, but so would we all, no?

    There must’ve been some fine eateries within the scope of this image.

  • Ray Milefsky

    Great photo. Thank you for sharing. Thomas Circle is near upper right corner — you can see Portland Flats and Luther Place Memorial Church. Dupont Circle is near upper left corner and just below is the Sumner School. Lower left corner is K Street. Follow it up to Farragut Square. The Army-Navy Club is midway up on the right side, in the southeast corner of 17th and I (Farragut Square). Foggy Bottom in the far left corner had such lovely residences.

  • dc.otter

    Thomas Circle is indeed near the upper right corner — thanks to both Portland Flats and Luther Place Memorial Church. The other circle that’s visible is Scott Circle. You can see the University Club just south of M as well as the Russian Embassy right next door. The angle of this image is really confusing! The street that runs diagonally up and to the right of Scott Circle is Rhode Island. You can *barely* see the top of the Hahnemann Monument and the Elihu Root House just beyond.

  • Keoki

    You may have found a photo of the Bonaparte Chateau. 1627 16th Street is in this picture.

  • John Solberg

    Attn. Ray Milefsky: At the time this photograph was taken, The Army & Navy Club was actually directly across Eye Street (in the red brick building with the turret) from the building which you referenced, which is today the home of the ANC.

  • maxwera

    I saw similar images at