After writing Monday’s article on the Census and how it can tell you the stories of the former inhabitants of your home, GM came across a fantastic resource from the Library of Congress. It is a page called “Researching Historic Washington, DC Buildings” and it includes dozens of links to databases and collections of materials with reams of information on old DC buildings.
But one resource GM found particularly interesting. It’s a digitalized version of Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys for Washington DC. It’s a highly detailed map of every street and building in the city from the turn of the last century. Specifically it was published in 1903, but GM doesn’t see his home on the map, and as discussed on Monday, there were residents in his house at least by 1900. But nonetheless, it reflects what buildings were there around that time.
Here are the maps for Georgetown:
Here’s southeast Georgetown. Note the wooden bridge for K St. across Rock Creek, the factories and lumber yards on the water, and the fact Virginia Ave. used to go across the waterfront.
Here’s southwest Georgetown. What’s notable about this map is the streams that ran through Georgetown at this point, as represented by the black lines meandering through the neighborhood.
Here’s northeast Georgetown. Notice that Q St. wasn’t constructed yet, and Dumbarton House hadn’t been moved yet. Plus, there was a giant streetcar facility on P St. (not to mention homes in what is now Rose Park).
Here’s central Georgetown. What’s notable here is that, as GM discovered Monday, the addresses of homes north of Volta were different. And that’s because Volta Place was Q St., Q St. was R St., Dent Place west of Wisconsin was S St. (east of Wisconsin it was Irving Place), Reservoir was T St. and R St. was U St. Oh and Wisconsin was called 32nd St. and 32nd St. was called Valley St.
Finally, here’s northwest Georgetown. Note that Volta Park used to be the Presbyterian Burial Grounds, and that the weird Tudor style home on 33rd between Volta and Q was the Presbyterian church.