Lost History

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

Proposed design for the Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center Could Have Looked Like This

Check out this great find. It's a rendering of a proposed design for the Kennedy Center, then called the National Cultural Center. It's actually...
Brown's Indian Queen Hotel

Brown’s Indian Queen Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue

Below is a painting of Brown's Indian Queen Hotel situated on Pennsylvania Avenue. Source: Library of Congress The hotel was located on the northwest corner of...
Gordon Hotel

Beautiful Lost Gordon Hotel at 16th and I Streets

Source: Library of Congress Chances are that most of you aren't familiar with the old Gordon Hotel (or just The Gordon). It has been long...
Exterior of Old National Hotel II

Lost National Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue

In keeping with the hotel theme this week, we wanted to share a little bit about the National Hotel, formerly situated at 6th and...
Rome Coliseum around 1900

Washington Was Originally Called Rome?

Well, one of the estates which made up the original city of Washington was called Rome. Have you heard about Rome, Washington?...
door frame within mill

Visit the Ruins of Seneca Quarry (Yes, Real Ruins!)

If you've read GoDCer Garrett Peck's book, then you're familiar with Seneca Quarry and the important role it played in the building growth of our...
Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC

Constitution Avenue Almost Renamed Franklin or L’Enfant Avenue

We wrote a while ago about the history behind Constitution Avenue. Doing a little more digging, we have come up with a...
Print shows view from street of Blodget's Hotel with stagecoach parked in front and a person walking on the sidewalk on the left, later (from 1802 to 1836) the U.S. Patent Office.

Blodgett’s Hotel: Lost “Hotel” in Today’s Penn Quarter

Source: Library of Congress Above is an image of Blodgett's Hotel. One might infer that a building named Blodgett's Hotel would in fact be a...
Griffith Stadium

Where Was Griffith Stadium in Washington?

Griffith Stadium was the home of the Washington Senators. It sat just north of Florida Ave near Howard University.
Plans for proposed building projects in Washington, D.C. Perspective view of concourse and entrance to Key Bridge, 1928

Proposed Grand Entrance to Key Bridge

What an incredible approach and entrance to Key Bridge. This was a proposed design for the approach and massive entry to Key Bridge from...

Wrecking Ball Demolishes Chevy Chase Ice Palace

Source: Streets of Washington When the Chevy Chase Ice Palace and Sports Center opened on Nov. 23, 1938, it became an instant sensation. On opening day...
Proposed drawing for Independence Square, Washington Memorial and grounds from model. Drawing for Independence Square III

Proposed Second Mall East of Capitol

Check this out. It's a proposed design for a second mall, east of the Capitol Building. Obviously, this was never built, but imagine how...
An early 1887 design for the memorial bridge across the Potomac River, by Paul J. Pelz.

Grand Construction Plans for Washington in 1906

Bridge ("Memorial Bridge in honor of U.S. Grant"), Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia. Perspective rendering & section We've...
Plan of the west end of the public appropriation in the city of Washington, called the Mall : as proposed to be arranged for the site of the university / to the Committee of the H. of R. of Congress, BHLatrobe, Surveyor of the City of Washington, Jan'y 1816.

Never Built: Proposed University on the National Mall in 1816

So this obviously never happened, but it's a fascinating proposal for the National Mall, done in 1816. Can you imagine a university sitting where...
Proposed design for the completion of the Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

Unbuilt Proposed Design for Washington Monument (1877)

Check out this cool proposed design to finish the Washington Monument. Construction didn't restart on the unfinished monument until 1879 after Congress appropriated another...
The Dunbar Hotel, located on 15th street between U and V streets NW. Designed by Clement A. Didden, Jr. the hotel had 485 bedrooms. Demolished in 1974. Automobiles are shown on the street, pedestrians on the sidewalk, and a gas station with a "Texaco / Amoc / Sinclair" sign. "Ansco Safety Film" edge imprint. Negative uncaptioned.

Lost History: Dunbar Hotel at 15th and U Street

This is a series of photos that we found at the Smithsonian. It shows the Dunbar Hotel, a building that used to sit on...
model of proposed White House changes

Fascinating Unbuilt Expansion of the White House (1892)

During the administration of President Benjamin Harrison, there was a push to renovate the Executive Mansion, bringing it up to the elegant standards of...
A 1901 design for the memorial bridge by Edward P. Casey and William H. Burr, accepted by the Secretary of War but never constructed.

More Pictures of the Unbuilt Grant Memorial Bridge

Here are two more great images of the unbuilt Memorial Bridge, the bridge that was almost a tribute to Ulysses S. Grant. Read the...
Exterior of old Pennsylvania Station, 6th & B Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C., as it appeared in the 1880's showing street traffic in front and insert of interior

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station in the 1880s

We found this at the Library of Congress, and it shows the old B&O Railroad Station where President Garfield was assassinated. Source: Library of Congress
Truman's proposed West Wing expansion

Truman’s Proposed Extension to the West Wing Didn’t Happen

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but the extension proposed by Harry Truman was never built. He...
Kennedy and Erhard when JFK visited West Germany in 1962

German Chancellor State Visit to White House on November 25th, 1963

On Friday, 50 years ago, The Washington Post printed this article detailing the upcoming state visit of West Germany's Chancellor, Ludwig Erhard. Washingtonians...