Then and Now / 05.11.2012

Here is a terrific shot of homes being built in Anacostia. This was taken around 1919 and this row appears to be the 1900 block of 16th St. SE. Check out the Google Street View below (it's not quite the same angle because of the trees obstructed the view). This makes for a great "Then and Now." [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?q=1926+16th+st+se&layer=c&sll=38.866504,-76.982221&cbp=13,300.77,,0,-5.42&cbll=38.866409,-76.982221&gl=us&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1926+16th+St+SE,+Washington,+District+of+Columbia+20020&ll=38.866504,-76.982221&spn=0.007234,0.008647&t=m&z=14&panoid=9EqIedaAR-DvlIVNpHMkTw&source=embed&output=svembed]...

Then and Now / 06.09.2012

Hopefully we are earning a GoDCer for life in Ayanna by posting all of these Hillcrest-related advertisements. If you know the person that lives here, send this to them. I'm sure they'd love to see their home back in 1955. And for all you GoDCers out there, compare the advertisement above to the Google Street View of the home today. Looks very similar, with a bit more foliage. [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?q=3612+bangor+st+se&layer=c&sll=38.860800,-76.955649&cbp=13,355.39,,0,0&cbll=38.860491,-76.955617&gl=us&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=3612+Bangor+St+SE,+Washington,+District+of+Columbia+20020&ll=38.8608,-76.955649&spn=0.008003,0.009001&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A&panoid=8MCQ8xE3RYc7UiSKPs-U1A&source=embed&output=svembed]...

Then and Now / 22.05.2012

It's still amusing to me when the papers refer to anything north of Boundary St. (i.e., Florida Avenue) as the suburbs. I came across an article in the Washington Times from 1906, highlighting some new construction in Mt. Pleasant. The building of apartment houses goes on apace, and while the timid observer continues to deplore the increasing number and predict a sudden reversal of the demand, the shrewd investor finds them a constant source of satisfaction...

Then and Now / 11.02.2012

Here's a cool "Then and Now" photo set. This is the Washington Star (or Evening Star) Building down at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, right across from the Old Post Office Pavilion. This striking Beaux-Arts building was originally constructed in 1898 (designed by Marsh & Peter) to house the newspaper, which was the anchor tenant until 1955. The paper eventually ceased printing in 1981. By then, the building was in dire need of a second life, and thankfully, it was saved by the Pennsylvania Development Corporation and fully renovated in 1989. It looks very much like it did back in 1900 when this photograph was taken.
Then and Now / 28.01.2012

Here is a nice "Then and Now" shot of the old Riggs National Bank across from the Department of Treasury. I found this in the Smithsonian's Flickr feed. The first one is from 1919 and the one below is today's shot from Google Street View. If you like these photos, why don't you follow @GhostsofDC on Twitter to get updates? Related articles Wreck at Columbia Rd. and Sherman Ave. NW (ghostsofdc.org) President Garfield's Assassin: Charles Guiteau's Time in Washington (ghostsofdc.org) In Hotel Lobbies: Buffalo Bill at...

Then and Now / 18.01.2012

If you've spent any time in Rock Creek Park, you have seen or crossed over this bridge. Below is a little history on it from a plan documenting the structure in 1995. And to the right is a photo I found of Lansing H. Beach, the man that was in charge of the design and construction of the bridge ... a prominent member of D.C. society, as he and his wife make many appearances in the Washington Post society pages of the time. He hobnobbed with an elite circle of senators, congressman and ambassadors.
In 1902 this concrete-steel arch bridge was constructed across Rock Creek on the line of Rock Creek Drive, now known as Beach Drive. The span utilized the patented Melan method of construction and was designed under the general direction of Captain Lansing H. Beach, Engineer Commissioner of the District of Columbia and member of the Board of Control in charge of Rock Creek National Park. A royalty was paid for the use of this patented technique and contractors Talty and Allen of Washington, D.C. were awarded the job.
So, it seems that the road previously known as Rock Creek Drive was named for Lansing H. Beach (I never knew that). Captain Beach lived in a pretty nice Dupont Circle home at 1327 21st St. NW (according to the 1900 U.S. Census). Also, he retired in 1924 with the rank of Major General (i.e., a two-star general -- pretty big deal).
Faces & Places of Yesterday, Then and Now / 18.01.2012

Here are a couple photos from my new favorite site, Shorpy. This was taken on January 5th, 1921 at the intersection of Columbia Rd. and Sherman Ave. NW. Now this is cool ... take a look at the photo of the same intersection today (courtesy Google Street View). Both photos are looking east down Columbia Rd. The whole row of homes on the right is still there. Below, read what was written in the Post a few days later on January 8th.