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Category: Featured

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Incredible 1880 Statistical Maps of Washington

This series of maps shows property values, pavement times, public schools, railroads, street sweeping schedules and more. Don't miss these incredible maps showing 1880s life in Washington.

It’s 4:20 Somewhere

Hazy blue smoke surrounds the origins of the annual Fourth of July Smoke-In. Though it now takes place in Lafayette Square, across the barricaded street from the White House, it began on the Mall.

Washington, D.C., circa 1931. "Fifteenth Street at Pennsylvania Avenue." Note the traffic lights, which made their D.C. debut in 1926, as well as the traffic-cop gazebo at center ("NO LEFT TURN") and streetcar switch tower to its left. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Looking Up 15th St. at Pennsylvania Ave. in 1931

This great old photo shows the view looking north on 15th St., just east of the White House and Treasury Department. The intersection is with Pennsylvania Ave. Source: Shorpy

Why Is It Named Mt. Pleasant?

Samuel Brown sold all the surrounding land of Pleasant Plains estate and named the remainder Mt. Pleasant because it invited the highest part of the original estate.

Wide view of the Old Harvard Street Bridge across Rock Creek Park taken from the south (down creek) side. A dirt road with a log fence appears on the right.

Old Harvard Street Bridge Over Rock Creek

Do you know where the Harvard St. Bridge is? I couldn’t place it until I looked it up, and obviously, it’s the bridge at the end of Harvard St. within the National Zoo. Pretty obvious, right? Anyway, here’s a photo of the old bridge in 1909. A modern bridge was completed in 1965, connecting with the […]

Mass. Ave. Heights in 1913

Undeveloped 32nd and Woodland Drive in Mass. Ave. Heights (1913)

Whoa, how cool is this photo from 1913? This shows the intersection at 32nd St. and Woodland Dr. NW. Source: Library of Congress Here’s the Google Street View of the area today. UPDATE: We received an email from Sian pointing out that this is the undeveloped corner where the Savopoulous murder occurred on May 14th, 2015. […]

The Parkside - 1702 Summit Pl. NW

Sunday Apartment Listings in 1932

Oh, things sure were different. Check out these great apartment advertisements from July 3rd, 1932. These were printed in The Washington Post. Below is an ad for The Parkside, which still stands at 1702 Summit Pl. NW. Here are a couple more old buildings. The Westmoreland is now a co-op. We found some more amazing listings […]

Logan Circle

Logan Circle Aerial Photo in the 1920s

Here’s a photo of Logan Circle, probably some time in the 1920s (though it was named Iowa Circle until 1930). Source: Library of Congress

Shirley Povich’s Ad: ‘Reach for a Post Instead of a Ghost’

Even though the Washington Post had a new owner, things were tough financially for the paper in the depth of the Depression in 1933, the last year Washington had a baseball team in the World Series. The Post, formerly owned by Edward (Ned) McLean, had just been sold at a bankruptcy auction to Eugene Meyer. […]

Desirable Villas in Cleveland Heights

You may or may not be aware of this, but in the early days, Cleveland Park was referred to as Cleveland Heights (i.e., Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan formerly known as Washington Heights). Below is a cool article that we came across in The Washington Post from June 22nd, 1890. Three hundred feet above the tidewaters […]

1910s Traffic Jam on 15th Street

This is what a traffic jam looked like on 15th St. right next to the Treasury Department around 1915. These two photos were from the Library of Congress. Source: Library of Congress Source: Library of Congress

1854 train tickets

Washington to Chicago for $18 in 1854

This is an old advertisement for railroad tickets between Washington, Baltimore and points west. A ticket from Washington to Cincinnati was $11, Chicago was $18, and St. Louis was $26.50. That ticket to St. Louis is roughly $660 in today’s money. A direct flight from DCA to STL today is about $280. We found this […]

Women competing in low hurdle race

Women Competing in Low Hurdle Race

This is a photograph from, what appears to be, Central High School (Cardozo), some time in the 1920s. These young ladies are competing in the low hurdle race.

Walter Johnson in 1939

An Older Walter Johnson Reminisces …

Here is a very different photo of the “Big Train” in April 1939. He is looking at a box of baseballs, autographed by six presidents. These are baseballs that were thrown out as the first pitch by presidents when Johnson was pitching in Washington. A pretty impressive collection, which was donated to the Baseball Hall […]

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