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Old Dutch Market at Dupont Circle

The Old Dutch Market at Dupont Circle is now occupied by CVS. It was a thriving business in DC through the 1920s. See their launch ad and learn more about what happened to them.
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Many of you have walked by the building right at Dupont Circle which is occupied today by CVS. It’s a beautiful old building, which thankfully still stands today.

Old Dutch Market, exterior, 20th & P, [Washington, D.C.]. Source: Library of Congress

We did a little digging to find some old advertisements and stories about the market and this is the first one we came across. It’s an ad from The Washington Herald, printed on Friday, October 10th, 1919. According to Wikipedia. Most important and noteworthy was that the day prior, the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series against the Chicago White Sox. But rumors continued and eventually proved true that eight members of the White Sox intentionally threw the games in exchange for gambling winnings. This became known as the Black Sox Scandal.

The ad below announced the opening of the new Dupont Circle Old Dutch Market on Saturday, October 11 in the renovated building which was previously occupied by the Walker-Hughes Company.

Old Dutch Market advertisement for opening Dupont Circle location.

There’s a great photo we dug up on Flickr from GoDCer Kent Boese, taken with the same perspective, and dominated by the building behind it. Scroll down a bit more and you’ll see a comparison photo of the two eras.

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Source: parkview dc on Flickr

And for a much better comparison, try the slider below to see them transposed on top of each other. A fascinating view for sure.

Old Dutch Market comparison 1920 vs 2009

Here are a few more photos from the National Photo Company Collection at the Library of Congress.

Old Dutch Market interior. Source: Library of Congress
Interior of Old Dutch Market. Source: Library of Congress

Looking at this final image, it doesn’t appear to be the Old Dutch Market located at Dupont Circle. In fact, maybe the above interior images are also not the Dupont location. There were several locations throughout the city.

Exterior of Old Dutch Market. Source: Library of Congress

A little more digging and we came across this brief mention of their seventh anniversary in The Washington Post on January 4th, 1915, putting their founding around 1908. They had twelve stores that year, so surely the interior images above are of their other locations. One of the locations was 1421 G St. NW, which is potentially the exterior photo above.

Washington Post – January 4, 1915

Sadly, by July 1927 they were forced to closed and the whole company sold for $70,000 at auction. Below is the article from The Washington Post mentioning the sale.

Washington Post – July 12, 1927

The receivers offered the assets both separately and as a whole. One bidder offered $3,000 for the Dupont Circle store and another bidder offered $100 for five 1-ton delivery trucks. Another bidder offered $1,000 for the bakery plant. Prior to the order for the sale at auction Mr. Fleming offered $70,000 for the corporation assets. Several of the creditors offered objections to the auction sale but the receivers went ahead. Stock in the other corporations owned by the Old Dutch, Inc., has yet to be sold.

Robert V. Fleming was the man mentioned as the purchaser and he was a vice president for the Riggs National Bank. No more mentions of the Old Dutch Market were found in the newspaper archives and they seemed to disappear from history after the sale.

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