Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

aerial view of the Ellipse

Don’t Take Our Ellipse Parking

We came across this article in the Washington Post from November 17th, 1955. Seems like people were getting pretty frustrated at the closing of roads and parking near the White House. No one, we are sure,...

Wise-Hooe-Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street

Wise-Hooe-Lloyd House, 220 North Washington St.

If you live in Alexandria or have been there, you have undoubtedly been by this house. This is the Wise-Hooe-Lloyd House on North Washington St, sometime in the 1930s. Check out the house today. Looks exactly...

All the Single Ladies … in 1837

In the 1830s, the Baltimore Sun was a far more prominent paper, covering the daily happenings of life in Washington City. We came across an interesting piece from the Baltimore Sun correspondent in Washington. You may...

West-southwest view with Maryland Ave. SW and B Street SW

1863 View Down Maryland Ave.

Wow, check out this amazing view. We dug up this gem on the Library of Congress site. The full caption is below. West-southwest view with Maryland Ave. SW and B Street SW (i.e., Independence Ave. SW)...

three women at Tysons Corner in 1971

Women Shopping in Tysons Corner (1971)

Maybe a GoDCer recognizes the women in this photo. This is a random shot we found at the Library of Congress. These women are shopping at Hecht’s in Tysons Corner (maybe one of them works there),...

One of few available houses for rent. Washington, D.C. One of the few available houses for rent under the crowded conditions. A study of the structure, however, will explain why there is no one now living in it

Rundown House Available for Rent

The caption on this photo states that the home was for rent. It’s unclear where this building is, but it looks like a pretty crappy place to live. I’m also pretty sure this building no longer...

map of Falls Church in 1879

Maps of Falls Church in 1879

Who loves maps? We love maps! If you’re in Falls Church, you’re going to love these maps from 1879. The one below is a larger map of the surrounding area.  

Map of Thomas Circle in 1888

This is cool. It’s the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of the area around Thomas Circle in 1888. The yellow buildings are wooden frame structures and the pink are brick buildings.

proposed Washington Monument

Gaudy Proposed Washington Monument

Check out this tacky proposal to finish the Washington Monument. The date on the drawing is 1889, however the monument was completed and dedicated in 1885.

Washington, D.C. Salvage drive, Victory Program. Schoolboy volunteers to go from house to home collecting scrap paper

Mt. Pleasant Paperboys Collect Scrap Paper on Ingleside Terrace for the War Effort

Back from lunch? Check this cool photo out from World War II. This is a great photo of some schoolboys going door to door on what appears to be Ingleside Terrace in Mount Pleasant in May...

Washington, D.C. Sailor taking a picture of his girlfriend at a monument in front of the Capitol on a Sunday afternoon

World War II Sailor Photographs Girlfriend in front of the Capitol Building

I wonder what happened to this couple. It’s possible that this photo was staged for the war effort. Also, take a look at the soldiers milling about in the background. This photo reminds me of this...

The Poor Kids of Georgetown

I know it’s probably hard to imagine, but Georgetown wasn’t always the bastion of Washington’s wealthy. Back in the 1930s many working class and even poor families lived in the neighborhoods now mostly occupied by lawyers,...

Section of Massachusetts Avenue showing block of shabby houses with outside toilets and water supply

Shabby Houses on Mass Ave

Here’s a shot by Carl Mydans from 1935. We found it on the Library of Congress’ site, but we’re not sure where this is on Mass Ave. Any ideas? Go to lunch, show your friends, debate...

7th and 9th St., N.W., Wash., D.C.

Looking Up F St. in the 1880s

This is a great view up F St. in the 1880s, dug up in the Library of Congress archives.

January 5, 1926. Washington, D.C. "Traffic Director Eldridge inspecting new lights." National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

The Traffic Light Bandit

This might make you think twice about stopping at a red light … well, maybe not. Nevertheless, it’s an amusing read on the terrors of driving in 1927. The article below is from the Washington Post...

Panorama of Washington, D.C. in 1865

This is an excellent high resolution photograph of Washington from the Civil War. It’s a view of the city as seen from 14th an B St. NW (i.e., Constitution Ave.) in 1865.Β Thanks again to the Library...

moving the old Girl Scouts headquarters south of the White House

Girl Scouts’ Home Picked Up and Moved

This is an interesting photo which we found in the Library of Congress archives. The image is from 1924 when the old headquarters for the Girl Scouts of America was being moved. No small feat, as...

Horse car in Washington, D.C. at Wisconsin and O St. NW (1889)

Horsecar at Intersection in Georgetown

Below is a terrific photo taken in 1893. This is the intersection (today) of Wisconsin and O St. NW in Georgetown. The main building you see on the corner is still there. Check out the Google...