What Did Southwest D.C. Used to Look Like?

This old photograph shows Southwest D.C. as it looked in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

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Temple Court off D Street and Delaware, SW, Washington, D. C.
Temple Court off D Street and Delaware, SW, Washington, D. C.

Source: New York Public Library

I can’t really even orient myself to where this is today as the place has changed so much. This is around the same area today, which is completely unrecognizable. Built in 1965, the Rayburn House Office Building blocks the view of the Capitol Dome.

Okay, so after a little more digging, we figure it’s somewhere near this pin on Google Maps.

And, this is what the area looked like in the 1927 map. Check out square 638.

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1927 Baist map of Southwest D.C.
1927 Baist map of Southwest D.C.

Source: Library of Congress

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  • Jessica Ferrer

    Quite the juxtaposition!