Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

1907 map

1907 Map of Area Around Cathedral

Here’s a really great old map of the area surrounding the National Cathedral. Check out how the land was owned by the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation. Also, notice the land owned by Francis Newlands. He was...

Woodrow Wilson stands in the front of a convertible automobile stopped in the intersection of what was then N and Union Streets SW. Wilson, the driver of the car, and two woman in the back look east at something happening on N Street. A crowd gathered under a tree near the car and people in front of 485 N Street also look in the same direction. Two Secret Service agents look at the photographer. Written on the reverse is "Barney Neighborhood House, 470 N Street SW." Wilson had only been President of the US for two months when the photo was taken.

President Woodrow Wilson Visits Southwest in 1913

Here is an old photo from May of 1913, showing Woodrow Wilson in a car, driving around Southwest D.C. Source: Dig DC

President Roosevelt at NIH

Rare Footage of FDR Dedicating the NIH

This is some great old footage of FDR dedicating the NIH back in 1940. Thanks to GoDCer Jeff for sending this in a while ago. It was originally posted on an NIH blog, Circulating Now, and...

cutaway drawing of the Evening Star Building

Great Cutaway Drawing of Evening Star Building in 1922

This is such a cool cutaway drawing of the Evening Star Building at 11th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. We posted a great photo of it some time ago, but this was something we had to share...

March 1925. Washington, D.C. "Pennsylvania Avenue." Lots of Shorpy landmarks here. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

1925 View Down Pennsylvania Avenue

This is such a great old photo. Click on it for a much more detailed version. Source: Shorpy

1864 map of the Washington Aqueduct

Civil War Map of Washington Aqueduct

This is a terrific old map from the Civil War, showing the Washington Aqueduct and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.   Source: LIbrary of Congress

1907 map of Chevy Chase area

1907 Map of Pre-Developed Chevy Chase

We found this cool 1907 map of Chevy Chase, showing a much more rural, pre-developed area. It looks like the Shoemaker family owned quite a bit of land in the area back then. Source: Library of...

1921 Map of Atlas District (Not Trinidad)

This is a map of the neighborhood that old Officer Sprinkle used to live near back in the day. This request came from GoDCer Vaughn. Enjoy! Source: Library of Congress

1921 Map of Petworth

Recognize any places in this map of Petworth? It’s from 1921 and shows a bit of development from the 1907 map that we posted a while back. Make sure you click on it for a detailed...

Five Maps of Georgetown in 1903

These are amazing. Take your time studying them because there are so many incredible details in them. Click on them for larger versions. Below is one showing the waterfront. This one is pretty cool. Here’s one...

1913 Map of Woodley Park and Observatory Circle

Happy Sunday, and welcome to map week! Starting now, going through the rest of the week, we’re posting a map each day, so get pumped. GoDCers love maps! And this is a great one to start...

aerial view of Washington National and the Pentagon

Great Aerial Photos of National Airport and Spout Run

Here are two great photos sent in by GoDCer Ken, who was raised in Arlington. The first shot is an aerial photo around Washington National and the Pentagon. The second one is Spout Run near Lee...

Georgetown students in 1895

Photo of Georgetown College Students in 1895

How things stay the same. Check out the faces and expressions of these young men. These guys aren’t that different from these guys about 40 years later. Source: Georgetown University I wonder if the guy at right,...

Long-distance view of the Government Printing Office on the northwest corner of North Capitol and G Streets NW showing structures in the 600 block of North Capitol and a streetcar heading south on North Capitol.

Giant Government Printing Office Building in 1909

Here is a really cool old photo of the Government Printing Office off of North Capitol St. Source: Dig DC Don’t miss this great story that we wrote about a man who worked at the GPO...

Que Street NW between 27 and 28, "Bellevue" Rittenhouse home, built about 1750, was the home of Joseph Nourse and Washington was a frequent guest here - #544

Dumbarton House (formerly Bellevue) on Q Street: George Washington Stayed Here

This is a photo of a beautiful old mansion which still sits in upper Georgetown. Formerly known  The home was called Bellevue and sat about 100 feet south of where it sits today on Q Street....

1932 Washington Post apartment listings

1932 Apartment Listings for D.C.

Check out rental priced in Washington from 1932. This is going to make you feel bad about what you're paying today.

View of the south and east elevations of a tavern, historically known as Tunnicliff's Tavern, at Pennsylvania Avenue and 9th Street SE.

Run Down Tunnicliff’s Tavern in 1929

This is such a cool old photo of Tunnicliff’s Tavern, taken in 1929. No, not this Tunnicliff’s … a much older one. Clearly the place had seen better days. Source: Dig DC

View of commercial building on the northeast corner of B Street (later Constitution Avenue) and 7th Street NW. An automobile in the foreground has an Esso advertising cover on its spare tire that reads, "ESSO THE GIANT POWER FUEL." - February 1st, 1931

Check Out 7th and Constitution in 1931

Back in 1931, Constitution Avenue was called B Street. Read about why it was named Constitution Ave. and when. Source: Dig DC