1930s

What was Washington, D.C. like in the 1930s? Take a look at our great posts with stories, people, photos, and history about the District from the thirties.

What Did Petworth Look Like in the 1930s?

This lovely old photo of Washington shows the Petworth neighorhood from the air in the 1930s. Any idea where this is in Petworth? Also, for those in Petworth who thumb their nose at the suburban dwellers...

Garfinckel’s Department Store in 1939

Take a look here at Garfinckel’s at 14th and F St. NW near the Treasury Building. The building still stands and is where The Hamilton is today.

1939 National Airport Photo Survey

National Airport in Arlington was opened in the summer of 1941, several months before Pearl Harbor. Below is a fascinating old image showing the aerial view of what would eventually become National Airport.

1939 View of 14th and Penn.

This amazing old photograph shows the intersection of 14th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., where the Willard Hotel sits. It has some amazing details so click OK it to see them.
Photograph of a View of the Entire Site for the National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.

View of National Archive Site Construction in 1932

This lovely old image shows the site of the National Archives early in the construction process. It was taken on July 1st, 1932.
National Archives building in 1933

Skeleton of National Archives Building in 1933

This is what the National Archives building looked like before it took shape in the 1930s. What a fascinating old photo. Source: National Archives
Temple Court off D Street and Delaware, SW, Washington, D. C.

What Did Southwest D.C. Used to Look Like?

This old photograph shows Southwest D.C. as it looked in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Source: New York Public Library I can’t really even orient myself to where this is today as the place has...
The nation's capital circa 1933. "View of Washington Monument at night in Reflecting Pool." 5x7 nitrate negative by Theodor Horydczak.

Stunning Washington Monument at Night in 1933

This beautiful old photograph of the Washington Monument, lit up at night, was taken in 1933. Click on it for some great details. Source: Shorpy
October 1935. Washington, D.C. "Capital Transit buses, F and 13th sts. NW." Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street.

What Did Metro Center Look Like in 1935?

This fascinating old photograph shows Washington at 13th and F St. NW in 1935. This area today is Metro Center. Click on it for greater details. Source: Shorpy
1932 parade in Washington, D.C.

1932 Parade in Washington

Here are two photos showing a parade in the District. Source: Library of Congress Source: Library of Congress
Parking lot in DC, April 1938

Do You Know Where This Parking Lot Was?

This great old photo shows a parking lot in the District across from a church. Does anyone in the GoDC community know where this is? Add your thoughts below in the comments. Source: Photogrammer
Washington, D.C., circa 1931. "Fifteenth Street at Pennsylvania Avenue." Note the traffic lights, which made their D.C. debut in 1926, as well as the traffic-cop gazebo at center ("NO LEFT TURN") and streetcar switch tower to its left. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Looking Up 15th St. at Pennsylvania Ave. in 1931

This great old photo shows the view looking north on 15th St., just east of the White House and Treasury Department. The intersection is with Pennsylvania Ave. Source: Shorpy

President Hoover With Boys and Girls at The White House

Here’s a cool old photo showing President Herbert Hoover with a large group of boys and girls at the White House. Source: Shorpy
Walter Johnson and his son Eddie in 1938

Walter Johnson Hosts Event for Hunting Dogs on His Germantown Farm

We found an interesting article about one of our Washington heros, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Walter Johnson. We’ve written quite a number of pieces about his baseball exploits over the years, as well as...
Aerial view of Pennsylvania Avenue looking west, showing Federal Triangle and the National Mall. (2006)

Why Is It Named Federal Triangle?

Do you know the origin of the name "Federal Triangle"? Did you know that at one point the area was called "Pennsylvania Avenue Triangle"?

1939 Tourist Footage of Washington

Check out this great film footage of Washington, D.C. from back in 1939.
Aerial view of U.S. Capitol and crowd on the grounds of the east front of the U.S. Capitol, during the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 4, 1933

Aerial View of Franklin Roosevelt’s First Inauguration

Check out this amazing old photo of FDR’s inauguration and then compare it to this one of Eisenhower and this of Obama. Source: dullshick
Washington tenements, Nov. 1935.

Washington Tenement Housing in 1935

Any idea where this photo was taken? Our alleys no longer look like this, but at one point, many people used to live in D.C. alleys. This was tenement housing in Washington. Source: Shorpy
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