Lost History

These are sad stories about things that no longer exist in Washington, D.C.

Amazing 1870s Railroad Photos of Washington

These 1870s photos are incredible, showing the District just following the Civil War. Click on them for more details.

Unbuilt Ulysses Grant Bridge Today

This most incredible image shows what the Ulysses Grant Memorial Bridge would have liked like today. It would have been where the current Arlington Memorial Bridge is today.

Managasset: Lost Kalorama Mansion

These are some amazing old images we dug up showing a far more bucolic Kalorama. We found some incredible old images of Kalorama, showing Managasset, the summer home “on the hill” where 20th St. meets Wyoming...

1967 Map of Unbuilt D.C. Highways

Why doesn't 395 cut through Washington, DC? This is the history of highways in DC.
Reno Rd. NW

Reno Road Almost Renamed Washington Avenue

A little-known story about upper northwest is that Reno Road, which cuts right through the heart of North Cleveland Park to Chevy Chase, was almost renamed Washington Avenue, in honor of the west coast state. An...
Proposed D.C. subway system

Proposed D.C. Subway During World War II

Between 1930 and 1950, the population of Washington expanded incredibly. The crush of people needed a way to get to work, and though a proposed subway in 1912 never came to fruition, the idea resurfaced during...

Stunning Old Raleigh Hotel, Lost Forever

You’re going to love this amazing photo of a long-lost building in our city. You’re looking at the old Raleigh Hotel, formerly located at 12th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. It’s so sad that these iconic structures...
1919 proposal to extend Vermont Ave.

Map of Proposed Vermont Ave. Extension From Florida to Georgia

Check this out. Here’s a map of something that didn’t happen. Howard University proposed extending Vermont Ave. from Florida Ave. to Georgia Ave. back in 1919. Source: Library of Congress Here’s that same intersection today on...
Architectural drawing for alterations to the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. West elevation Summary

1877 Drawing of Proposed Capitol Modifications

Fascinating drawing of the U.S. Capitol from the 1870s showing proposed modifications to the building. This is the west elevation of the building, the opposite side of the National Mall. Source: Library of Congress
Proposed highway in Arlington

Proposed Southside Freeway in Arlington

Here’s an interesting proposal for the Southside Freeway in Arlington, which never came to be. This graphic is from The Washington Post printed on October 7th, 1960. That date, by the way, is when the famous Kennedy/Nixon...

The Horror of an Alexandria Slave Pen

The sad truth is that slave pens existed in and around all of Washington. This photo shows one of those in Alexandria during the 1860s. We dug these up at the Library of Congress. Source: Library...

Never Built Hamilton Circle at Massachusetts and Idaho

Wait, Hamilton Circle? Do you know where that is? Probably not, because it was never completed. The neighborhood surrounding the circle was once dubbed Fairview Heights, which no longer seems to appear on any contemporary maps....
A crowd lines up for the movie, "Love Letters," starrring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotton, at the Republic Theatre on the north side of the 1300 block of U Street, 1945-1946.

What Did U Street Look Like in the 1940s?

Check out this photo showing the old Republic Theatre at 13th and U St. back then. The theater opened up back on May 30th, 1921, one block west of the Lincoln Theatre, which still stands. Unfortunately,...

Dietz’s German Beer Hall on 7th Street

Long gone are the days of the German beer hall in D.C., though some would argue that Brickskeller (ahem, Bier Baron) remains as one of the better ones. Well, it was great back in the day...
List of requirements for a municipal baseball stadium lease, including steps for building a stadium, the baseball club's rental obligations, the rights of the ball club, and the rights of the city.

Lease Requirements to Replace Griffith Stadium

The baseball nuts in the crowd are going to find this fascinating. Griffith Stadium off of Florida Ave. NW was where the old Washington Senators used to play baseball, and they were decent in the 1920s,...
Old State Department Building, corner 15 Street and Pennsylvania Avenue - photo taken during the Civil War

Photo of the State Department During the Civil War

We posted a great old photo of the old State Department Building earlier. Here’s another, similar angle photo of the building, but much clearer. Click on it for some amazing details. Does anyone know why there...
Old State Department Building in 1857

Oldest Photo of State Department

This is the oldest known photo of the U.S. Department of State. The photo is from 1857 and shows the old State Department building, before it was located in Foggy Bottom, and even before it was...
At the bar at Warwick's Cafe, 13th St., NW near Pennsylvania Ave., 1894

Lost History: Warwick’s Saloon at 13th and Pennsylvania

Let’s do a little lost history again and dig into the old saloon history of our city. We found a great photo of an old saloon called Warwick’s, formerly located at 13th and Penn. Take a...
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