1880s

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
View northwest past the equestrian statue (by Henry Kirke Brown) of General Winfield Scott. Includes the Queen Anne-style Windom House on the northwest corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 16th Street NW, and the Hutchins House next door to the west. (Current site of the Australian Embassy). William H. Seaman Photograph Collection, HSW (1888)

Windom House in 1888: Current Site of Australian Embassy

This is an amazing old photo from 1888. It shows the Windom House at the intersection of 16th St. and Mass Ave. This is where the Australian Embassy sits today. Source: Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Capstone Placed on the Washington Monument

Here’s a drawing we found from the Library of Congress depicting the finishing touches on the Washington Monument – the placement of the capstone. This capstone, made of aluminum, was placed atop the monument in 1885,...
This is Bell’s hand-drawn map of downtown Washington, D.C., centered on Scott Circle. Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts Avenues are all clearly visible on the map—as well as 15th through 19th Streets. At the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and 15th Streets, Bell indicated the location of his Washington, D.C., residence by scrawling “A.G. Bell.” The National Geographic Society headquarters on M Street between 16th and 17th Streets would be located on the far left side of this map.

Alexander Graham Bell’s Hand-Drawn Map of Scott Circle

How cool is this?! It’s a hand-drawn map of Washington, centered on Scott Circle. The map is oriented with west at the top, and you’ll see Dupont Circle at the top right. Source: National Geographic The...

Awesome 1880 Map of Washington Streetcars

This one is awesome. Check out the old map of the Washington streetcars from 1880. Source: Library of Congress
diagram of proposed park of 2,500 acres

1886 Plan for Great Park in Arlington

Source: Washington Post Six years before Rock Creek Park came to be and about 20 years after the Civil War, there was talk of a great park for Washington to be made from lands in Arlington,...
Plan of the Navy Yard at Washington, D.C. : showing the position and dimensions of all the buildings as they were June 1st 1881.

Plan for the Navy Yard in 1881

We found this great old plan for the Washington Navy Yard at the Library of Congress. It shows the position and dimensions of all the buildings as they were on June 1st, 1881. Source: Library of...
Old Ebbitt House c. 1880

Great Photo of Old Ebbitt House in 1880

What a terrific photograph of the Old Ebbitt House back in 1880. By 1878 the District had 178 phone lines! Source: Library of Congress
Bridge ("Memorial Bridge in honor of U.S. Grant"), Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia. Perspective rendering & section

The Unbuilt Ulysses Grant Memorial Bridge

Another former president lost out getting a memorial here in D.C. Civil War general and president, Ulysses S. Grant almost had a glorious bridge built in his honor, connecting Arlington to Washington. Here is an article...
Rock Creek Parkway

1886 Plan to Fill In and Build Over Rock Creek

This is an awesome find. We dug up a fascinating article in the Washington Post from May 23rd, 1886. This was for a proposed tunnel diverting the creek’s path. A large impetus for the this plan...
The Museum. Birth-place. 18th + K Sts, N.W. 1879-1882. Bound in a copy of "Catalogue of The Exhibits in the Museum of Hygiene. Medical Department of the United States Navy." Compiled by Philip S. Wales, Medical Director, U.S.N. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1893.

U.S. Navy Medical Museum Back to 1879

GoDCer, and avid history buff, Mike sent over these great images the other week. I’m finally getting to post these, but take a look and see how great they are. Fascinating old history of the Naval...
view of the Capitol Building in 1888

Bird’s Eye View of the Capitol from Post Office in 1888

This is a terrific old photograph from the Library of Congress. It’s a great view of the Capitol Building from the old post office on F Street (now Hotel Monaco). It was taken by William M....
Riggs Bank - the Dept. of Justice for A.P.A.

Riggs Bank Photo Dated November 14th, 1888

This is an awesome photo dated November 14th, 1888. The photo is labeled “Riggs Bank – the Dept. of Justice for A.P.A.” and was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston.
Photograph shows Carroll Row, a block of five houses at 1st & A Street, SE, razed in 1887 for construction of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. Includes the sign "Architect."

Excellent View Down East Capitol from The Capitol Dome

This is a great view down East Capitol St. from the Dome, taken around 1880. UPDATE: GoDCer Leonard sent along this great shot (a little blurry), from the same vantage point today. So cool!  
map of Trinidad in 1907

Why Is It Named Trinidad?

You have to admit, it seems little odd that we have a neighborhood named Trinidad. At the same time, it’s fascinating, because there has to be an interesting story behind it. Also, let’s not forget, that...

Why Is It Named Petworth?

Calling all hipsters! Do you know why it’s called Petworth? We’ll go out on a limb and guess that most of you do not (because we didn’t until we dug up a little history). Back in...
1888 map of Lafayette Square

1888 Map of Lafayette Square and Farragut Square

It’s Friday and GoDCers love maps! This one is a great map from 1888, showing the area around Lafayette Square and Farragut Square.
a non-exploded manhole cover

Pennsylvania Avenue Sewer Explodes; Heard Miles Around

This is a crazy story. I actually remember something similar happening in Georgetown maybe a decade or so ago. Anyone lese recall that? The article below is from the Washington Post on August 31st, 1889. A...
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