1950s

What was Washington, D.C. like in the 1950s? Take a look at our great posts with stories, people, photos, and history about the District from the fifties.

1954 Maryland football

The 1950s Were The Glory Days for Maryland Football

Source: University of Maryland So long ACC. Hello Big Ten. The University of Maryland’s final game in the Atlantic Coast Conference Saturday, a 41-21 win at North Carolina State, brought back vivid memories of the 1954...
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...
Scott Circle, NW, looking northeast from Rhode Island Avenue with statue of Gen. Winfield Scott; note glass street sign under globe. (July 8, 1950

Scott Circle in the 1950s

Here’s a cool photo that we found on Flickr. Source: DDOTDC Flickr
O Street Market on northwest corner of 7th and O Streets NW. (Emil A. Press Slide Collection, 1959)

Then and Now: O Street Market

Wow, look the the difference (and similarity). Source: Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Check it out today in all its glory.
View of the South Portico of the White House - February 16th, 1952

Exterior Photos of Truman Reconstruction of White House

Truman Reconstruction of the White House between 1949 and 1952. See exterior photos of the renovation project
interior shell of the White House - 1950

Interior Photos of Truman Reconstruction of White House

Truman Reconstruction of the White House between 1949 and 1952. See interior photos of the renovation project
Demolition of buildings on the corner of 11th Street and Virginia Avenue SW. View northwest over the Agriculture Department Building to the Washington Monument (1959). Garnet W. Jex "Southwest Redevelopment" Slide Collection, HSW.

Building Demolition at 11th and Virginia (1959)

Ugh, these are always so sad to see. So much of D.C. was destroyed in the 1950s in the name of progress.
dairy farm advertisement in 1950

Identify This Fairfax Dairy Farm From 1950

Check out this advertisement from 1950. This was printed in The Washington Post. Does anyone recognize this home? UPDATE: We quickly received a Tweet from @daddylive9 pointing out that the farm still stands today at the intersection...

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...
1950s Washington

Cost-of-Living Near All-Time High in D.C. (1952)

Do you think it’s expensive to live in the District today? Our population is just hovering around 600,000. Back in the 1950s, we were over 800,000! And, that was with far fewer apartment buildings. GoDCer Jamie...

Three Things About the CIA’s Langley Headquarters

CIA headquarters are in Langley, Virginia and have been since 1961 when President Kennedy dedicated the new building.
1950s car after accident

Help Identify This 1950s Location

We came across these beautiful photographs on Flickr and had to share them with GoDCers. It appears to be an old car getting in need of some repairs after an accident. The vehicle appears to be...
In late 1959 through 1960, the Capitol Dome underwent a significant repair and restoration effort and at the end of 1959 the exterior of the Dome was surrounded by scaffold.

The Capitol Dome Was Once Red

Remember the red Capitol Dome that we posted some time ago? Here’s another great view of it. Source: Architect of the Capitol Below is the caption from their Flickr feed. In late 1959 through 1960, the...

Eisenhower Inauguration Seen From a Blimp [Slideshow]

Here’s a pretty cool set of photos from January 20th, 1953. Source: Opie Radio
Harmon Killebrew shakes President Eisenhower's hand before a game in 1959 (Calvin Griffith in the middle)

Washington Senators Almost Move to Los Angeles [VIDEO]

Here is some more on the proposed move of the Washington Senators to Los Angeles (we wrote about this here). Thanks to GoDCer @doubleuefwhy for sharing this on Twitter.
Mockingbird Hill

If Walls Could Talk: Mockingbird Hill

Congratulations to the latest winner of our “If Walls Could Talk” poll: Mockingbird Hill at 1843 7th St. NW. Vice squad raid for illegal gambling We came across a story in the Baltimore Afro-American from July...
Franklin Park in 1943

Soap Box Orations Banned in Franklin Park

Evidently, in the first half of the 20th century, Franklin Park was the place to go air your grievances with whatever entity was keeping you down (i.e., The Man). It was to the point in the...

1955 Home Movie of White House Visit

This is a great find from archive.org. We dug up an old home movie of a family’s visit to Washington and the White House. When you watch it, you’ll be shocked to see how different the...
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