Lost History

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

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 1928. This is a fascinating piece of architecture that was never built....

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 more than 2,200 people hit the indoor skating rink, bringing...
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 different things would be. The design below was done as part of...
An early 1887 design for the memorial bridge across the Potomac River, by Paul J. Pelz.

Grand Construction Plans for Washington in 1906

We’ve posted a couple stories about the unbuilt Grant Memorial Bridge, and did a little research this past weekend to find some more details about it. We came across a great article in The Baltimore Sun from...
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 the Lincoln Memorial does today? Source: Library of Congress
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 $200,000 to complete it. Below is one of the proposals on the...
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 the northwest corner of 15th and U St. Sadly, this beautiful building...
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 European castles. This was to reflect the growing importance of America and...
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 previous post on that proposed bridge. Source: Wikipedia Source: Robs Webstek
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 was annoyed by the rejection, so he instead, went ahead with the...
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 were reading this in the morning newspaper, the same day Kennedy was in Dallas....
Famous Capitol landmark being dismantled to make way for modern business

Sad, Capitol Hill Landmark Being Dismantled

Here’s a sad old photo from the Library of Congress. Source: Library of Congress
proposed Metro map in 1966

Unrealized Vision for Metro in 1966

As with any massive public project, Metro was full of contentious debates and heated arguments. Ultimately, we know where we ended up, but back in 1966, things we slightly different and proposals didn’t fully become realized....

Never Built: CIA Headquarters in Alexandria

We had no idea, but the alternate, and strongly pushed location for the Central Intelligence Agency‘s new headquarters was the Winkler Tract in Alexandria, just off of Shirley Highway. Here’s an article that we dug up...

Never Built: Metro’s Bridge Over Rock Creek

In these 1966 drawings, train cars roll under Connecticut Avenue, but above Rock Creek. These amazing early Metro plans never came to fruition. They depict the Red Line between Dupont Circle and Woodley Park.
Pennsylvania (Baltimore & Potomac) Station in Washington

1890 Petition to Keep Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Depot at 6th and B St.

There are always two sides to an issue and below is proof that a large number of Washingtonians wanted to keep the dangerous railroad station at 6th and B Streets NW (where Garfield was shot). Of...
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