Photo Courtesy of DDOT.
Recently, GM became alerted to the vast archive of historic photos that DDOT has been publishing in its Flickr feed. GM was particularly drawn to the above photo which shows a bird’s eye view of the Georgetown waterfront circa 1946. It inspired GM to start yet another building survey series (even though he’s a school or two short of finishing his survey on historic school buildings-by the way, if anyone knows anything interesting about the Corcoran School on 28th St., let GM know). Thus GM introduces today a survey of Georgetown’s historic industrial buildings.
Georgetown was industrial before it was residential. As the most upstream an ocean-going vessel could reach on the Potomac, Georgetown became an important port for Maryland’s tobacco farmers. George Gordon, one of the primary land owners of what would become Georgetown, opened a tobacco inspection station at the port in the mid-18th century. By 1751, merchants from the port petitioned the colonial legislature to authorize the creation of a town. Gordon and the other primary land owner, George
BealeBeall, were forced to turn over their land, and Georgetown was born (no one knows whether the name is for the two Georges or for the king).
As a result of the river, and eventually the canal and the B&O Railroad, lower Georgetown developed into an industrial section. We can still see some remnants of this past today, but much of the above scene has been wiped away.
Rather than jump right in with a particular building, GM wanted to share a personal history he recently received from former CAG president Ray Kukulski. It tells his and Don Shannon’s stories of living in lower Georgetown during the twilight of the neighborhood’s active industrial period. GM can’t think of a better way to kick off this series than with a personal link to the past:
Stay tuned for a closer look into some of these old buildings…