Wow, these are awesome. Click on them for greater detail because they are pretty amazing. Sorry I just wasted at least 30 minutes of your time at work! Thank you Library of Congress.
UPDATE: If you like these, you will also be fascinated by this photo of the Ebbitt House Hotel in 1889.
UPDATE 2: GoDCer Brian over at National Journal has posted some great contemporary photos to go along with these. Check them out here.
Southeast view with Pennsylvania Ave. to the left and the Capitol grounds, A Street, and B Street (i.e., Independence Ave.) in the foreground; view includes the Wallach School and St. Peter’s Catholic Church.
West-southwest view with Maryland Ave. SW and B Street SW (i.e., Independence Ave. SW) to the left, Maine Ave., 3rd, 4 1/2, and 6th streets SW to the center; view includes The Mall, Washington Armory, Armory Square Hospital, Smithsonian Castle, Washington Canal, Botanic Garden, Gas Works, Washington Monument, under construction, and the Potomac River.
Northwest view with 1st, B, C, D streets, and Indiana Ave. in the foreground; view includes the Washington Jail, Aldrich’s Wholesale Flour, Grain & Feed Warehouse, Dyers American House, Shamokin & Lykins Valley Coal (Wood & Coal), Depot House, C. Boyle, and Door, Sash & Blind Factory.
Northwest view with 1st and 2nd streets and building materials for the U.S. Capitol in the foreground, and Indiana Ave. in the upper right; view includes the Patent Office, old Post Office Building, City Hall, and various churches, such as Trinity Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church.
Northeast view with Maryland Ave. in the center with A Street, 1st Street, 2nd Street, and Capitol grounds in the foreground; view includes the old brick Capitol building.
Southeast view with New Jersey Ave. on the right and A Street and B Street (i.e., Independence Ave.) in the foreground; view includes the Washington Navy Yard, the Eastern Branch (i.e., Anacostia River), the Ebenezer United Methodist Church (i.e., Mount Joy Baptist Church), “Duddington” house, temporary government(?) wooden buildings, the Casparis House, Capitol Hill Restaurant and the Holmes Restaurant.