Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Whitlow's Restaurant and retail stores at 11th and E Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C., photographed before they were demolished to make way for new buildings

Lost History: The Old Whitlow’s Bar and Grille

Whitlow’s on Wilson wasn’t always in Arlington. For a really long time, starting around the end of World War II, it was down at 11th and E St. NW. Oliver Carr, a developer, had acquired much...

Taft & Roosevelt driving to Capitol, Mar. 4, 1909.

President Taft’s Snowy Inauguration in 1909

Complaining about our bizarre weather? Try having your Presidential Inauguration in crappy, snowy weather. That’s what happened to our most rotund president (and latest Nats racing president). Here is a photograph of him in the carriage...

Southern Railway Building in 1917

Lost History: Southern Railway Building

Sad. Just tragic. The building below is the old Southern Railway Building, formerly located at 13th and Pennsylvania. This building was purchased by the United States Government in 1928 for $2,680,000 to make way for the...

Hotel Harrington in 1916

Three Ads for Hotel Harrington in 1914

Hotel Harrington will have its 100th birthday next year in March. It’s one of the landmark D.C. buildings downtown that was spared the destruction of the redevelopment of the 1970s and 1980s. For a little twist...

President Roosevelt in carriage en route to Capitol

Amazing Photographs of Teddy Roosevelt’s Inauguration in 1905

Here are two amazing photographs from Teddy Roosevelt‘s Inauguration in 1905. Thanks again to the Library of Congress.

P. Hohmann Saloon

Lost History: P. Hohmann Saloon

Here is another excellent old saloon from 1913, lost to history. Mullany’s Saloon had a neighbor with Hohmann’s Saloon. The most amazing part of this photograph is the Washington Monument peeking out in the background. The...

March 25th, 1907: Prime Quality Portner’s Beer in Alexandria, VA

Here’s a page from the Alexandria Gazette and Virginia Advertiser from Monday, March 25th, 1907, exactly 96 years ago yesterday (I should have posted this on Monday). The most interesting ad is the one for Portner’s...

D. Mullany's Saloon at 14th and E St. NW in 1913

Lost History: D. Mullany’s Saloon

We’re trying out a new category called “Lost History” today. We spent a good part of the weekend reading James Goode’s excellent (and depressing) book Capital Losses, and wanted to feature some more lost history of D.C....

Photograph showing the General Post Office building in Washington, D.C. (1860-1878)

Old Post Office on F Street in the 1860s

Here is a terrific old photograph of the old post office on F St. back during the 1860s.

Inauguration ball, Monday evening, March 6, 1865. Admit one gentleman and two ladies.

Lincoln’s Inaugural Ball: Admit One Gentleman and Two Ladies

What’s up with this invite? Is Abe trying to tip the balance in the favor of his male advisors? Bizarre … two to one ratio?

Map of Area Around Walter Reed in 1911

It’s amazing to see how rural Washington was in the early 20th century. This is the Baist map of the area around Walter Reed in 1911.

map of SW in 1909

1909 Map of Southwest by the National Mall

It’s sad to think of all the nice homes that were bulldozed to make way for the “modern” Southwest quadrant.

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Peoples Drug Store, 14th & U." A nighttime view of the store seen here and here and here. Your headquarters for "tar bags."

OMG 900th Post! … People’s Drug in the 1920s

For our 900th post (OMG!), we are sharing this series of amazing old photos of People’s Drug Store No. 3. This store was at 14th and U and the photographs are from the 1920s. We love...

Washington, D.C., circa 1926. "National Delivery Association, Lincoln Memorial." National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

Motor Vans to Any Point (1926)

This is such a cool shot of the Lincoln Memorial only a few years after it was dedicated (with Robert Todd Lincoln in attendance).

map of Grant Circle in 1916

Grant Circle and Petworth in 1916

This is a set of maps from 1916, showing a very different, and sparsely developed Petworth.  

Major Russell Harrison and Harrison children--Baby McKee and sister on goat cart

The Harrison Grandchildren on a Goat Cart at the White House

Here is something you are highly unlikely to see today. Kids on the South Lawn, riding a goat cart. Quaint.

State, War and Navy Building

View of the State, War and Navy Building From the Rose Garden

What a terrific old photo of the State, War and Navy Building around the turn of the century.

Policeman standing guard at entrance to White House

Standing Guard at the White House

Here’s a great photo from around the turn of the century. It’s of a policeman, standing guard in front of the White House, taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston.