Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Dunbar High School

Dunbar High School Opens With Problems

No, not the one just built. The one built in the 1970s. Yes, the ridiculously ugly, brutalist, Soviet-looking building known as Dunbar High School. Here’s an article we dug up from the Washington Post, printed on...

Maps accompanying the report of the operations of the Engineer Department of the District of Columbia : for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1891 : [Washington D.C.] / compiled by Capt. W.T. Rossell, U.S. Eng'rs ; compiled by Capt. J.L. Lusk, U.S. Eng'rs.

1891 Washington Property Value Map

The last property value map we posted up was immensely popular. This is another one from 11 years later. Source: Library of Congress

Dupont Circle metro

Photo of Dupont Circle Metro Under Construction

Unfortunately, I didn’t find a larger version of this image, but it’s still pretty cool to see. Source: Rare Vintage Photos of Washington, D.C.

Awesome 1880 Map of Washington Streetcars

This one is awesome. Check out the old map of the Washington streetcars from 1880. Source: Library of Congress

Why Is It Named Stoddert Elementary School?

I was taking a nice evening walk by Stoddert Elementary School in Glover Park this weekend with Mrs. Ghost and Ghost Dog and, of course, I was curious as to the origin of the school’s name. Clearly...

View down Connecticut Ave. NW at intersection with Columbia Rd.

Awesome 1908 Postcard View of Connecticut Avenue

This is a terrific old postcard we found in our GoDC buddy John’s Flickr photostream. Source: Flickr user StreetsOfWashington If you were look down this road today, on the left you would see the Hilton Hotel....

1955 Home Movie of White House Visit

This is a great find from archive.org. We dug up an old home movie of a family’s visit to Washington and the White House. When you watch it, you’ll be shocked to see how different the...

Great American Station: Union Station [VIDEO]

Here is a good video we stumbled upon on YouTube. It was pulled together by Amtrak in 2008, on the occasion of the station’s 100th anniversary.

Giant Food in 1979

Giant Food Ad from 1979

Wow, remember these days? It’s humorous looking at these prices. This is an advertisement from the Washington Post printed on June 25th, 1979. Source: The Washington Post

this is a gun

Crazy: D.C. Police Officer Charged in SE Holdup

Really? This is a crazy headline from the Washington Post, published on March 1st, 1972. The city was a little rough around the edges then, but a policeman performing a holdup? A metropolitan policeman was arrested...

Harlem, DC

Foxhall Village: Formerly Known as Harlem?

That’s right. At one point, D.C. had it’s own Harlem. The plot of land between Conduit Road (now MacArthur Boulevard)  and Foxhall Road was developed in the early 1880s and named Harlem, after the town in...

Au Pied De Cochon in 1980

1980 Photograph of Au Pied De Cochon

Thanks to GoDCer Mike, who sent this in to us. Now, whenever you walk by this spot, you get a waft of greasy Five Guys burgers and fries. Then, you saw a place with some great...

Washington DC proposed plan of public buildings. Copy of drawing.

Proposed Buildings on the Mall Near Capitol

The description on this image from Flickr says it’s a proposed plan for public buildings on the Mall near the Capitol. Source: Flickr user medicalmuseum

Video of Really Old Photographs of Washington

Here is an interesting video that we found, showing a collection of really old photos of D.C.  

1903 Baist real estate atlas of Palisades

1903 Map of Palisades and Surrounding Area

We haven’t posted a good old map in a while, so here is one from 1903, showing the Palisades. Source: Library of Congress And here is the map of the area today. [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?t=m&dg=opt&ie=UTF8&ll=38.935561,-77.109561&spn=0.0114,0.021479&z=16&output=embed]

diagram of proposed park of 2,500 acres

1886 Plan for Great Park in Arlington

Source: Washington Post Six years before Rock Creek Park came to be and about 20 years after the Civil War, there was talk of a great park for Washington to be made from lands in Arlington,...

Daybreak over Washington, D.C.

1930s Postcards: Daybreak Over Washington, D.C.

We found a bunch of great postcards in the Boston Public Library’s Flickr photostream and here is one of our favorites. Source: Flick user Boston Public Library Here is another great one, showing the Washington Monument....

streetcars

More 1950s Footage of D.C. Streetcars

Here’s another great video of the old D.C. streetcar system.