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The Willard Hotel

Looking southwest at the Old Post Office Pavilion (far left), Southern Railway Building (middle), and District Building on Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., in 1932. On in the fall of 1932, the structures in rear of the District Building would be razed to make way for the U.S. Department of Labor building, whose cornerstone would be laid on December 15, 1932

View from the Willard Hotel’s Roof

Wow. I think this photo speaks for itself. What an amazing shot of what would become Federal Triangle.
Willard's Hotel

Philemon Herbert: Crooked Congressman, Card Shark and Brothel Patron

This is the first guest post by Roger. Check out his blog Forgotten Stories for some excellent lost history. Philemon T. Herbert was a crooked lawyer, a card shark, frequented brothels, and stood accused of attacking a political rival with a...
Washington, D.C., circa 1904. "North from the Smithsonian Institution." Landmarks include the Willard Hotel at left and Old Post Office tower. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.

View North from the Smithsonian in 1904

Pass the afternoon by studying this photo close up. Amazing detail, including a view of the Willard Hotel as well as the Old Post Office.

In Hotel Lobbies: Mark Twain at the Willard

The creator of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn was in our city back in December 1906 to participate in the copyright hearings before Congress. The Washington Post mentioned them in in their “People Met in Hotel Lobbies” section. “I should...
Japanese embassy posing for photo with naval officers at Washington's navy yard (Library of Congress)

Arrival of First Japanese Embassy at the Navy Yard (1860)

In January 1860, the Tokugawa shogunate sent a delegation to the United States with the primary objective of ratifying the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation (aka, the Harris Treaty). Commodore Matthew Perry (not Chandler) had opened Japan (forcefully) in 1854 and this was...
The Willard Hotel in 1922 (Shorpy)

The Willard Hotel in 1922

We love the Willard Hotel. Who doesn’t? The place is full of amazing history. We posted a view from the top of the hotel last week and this week we’re posting a view of the hotel. We included this in...
Aerial view in front of the Willard Hotel at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, showing pedestrians and rather dense traffic in autos and streetcars. - 1939

View of 14th and Pennsylvania Ave. From the Willard Hotel

I can spend two or three hours researching an in depth “Three Things…” or “If Walls Could Talk” post and ultimately end up with the same number of readers as a quick afternoon photo post. Today, I’m going to flip...
Edward M. Fossler article headline in Washington Post on August 15th, 1903

Crushed In Elevator, Edward Fossler Falls Ten Stories

So, this is a really crazy story. I came across the following headline in the Washington Post from August 15th, 1903. Okay, you piqued my macabre interest. I have to read this one. Edward M. Fossler, aged eighteen years, an...

Calvin Coolidge, The Vice President of What?

This one made me laugh. This would never happen today … at least I hope it wouldn’t. It’s a story about Calvin Coolidge’s time here at Vice President under Warren Harding. Coolidge and his family arrived in Washington as the...
Pat Garrett

Pat Garrett, Lawman Who Killed Billy the Kid, Visits Washington and Teddy Roosevelt

In December of 1905, Pat Garrett came to Washington to seek reappointment as customs collector in El Paso from his friend President Theodore Roosevelt. Unfortunately for Pat, he had lost his good standing with the President by associating with the...