Tag Archives: History

Location Matters, But Does Name?

 

Yesterday, the Atlantic Cities website published an amusing piece wondering whether home value is affected by the street it’s on is called a “street” or, say, “lane”. Apparently a report by Trulia found that homes are worth the most is they’re on an avenue (average $117 per square foot) while they sell for the least on those humble “streets” ($86 per square foot).

This got GM wondering, would Georgetown homes be worth more if Georgetown still had the old street names? The street designation was the same with the old street names, but the given names, so to speak, were more distinctive (for the most part, that is, the east-west streets west of Wisconsin were just numbered first through eighth).

To test this theory, GM looked at the last three years of real estate sales in Georgetown and split them into two groups: streets with either letters or numbers (e.g. 30th or P St.) and streets with some other name (e.g. Dumbarton or Volta). Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by BeyondDC.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Ehpien.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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Now and a Long Time Ago: the Georgetown Waterfront

 

This week on Now and a Long Time Ago, GM returns to the Georgetown waterfront. According to the Library of Congress, the photo above dates from anywhere between 1909 and 1932. GM’s looked closely, and the only building in the photo whose construction GM can date if the Capital Traction Power House towards the center right. But that was built in 1910, so that doesn’t help much. So all GM can say is that this photo is from somewhere between¬†1910 and 1932.

Here’s the shot from today:

Before getting into the differences, GM is struck by the similarity of angle, which suggests that the old shot may have also been taken from the Key Bridge. Since that span was constructed in 1923, it would narrow the window a bit.

While GM can’t quite date the old photo, he can identify a few of the buildings in the shot. Beyond the Capital Traction Power House there’s the flour mill:

On the riverbank there’s a boathouse for canoes: Continue reading

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The Library’s Useful Tools

 

Yesterday, GM ran an article about the history of the Corcoran School on 28th St. GM relied heavily on a free asset that he’s not sure many people are aware of: the entire Washington Post archives. And he got them with an assist from the DC public library.

Here’s the page full of the online newspaper and magazine articles that the library offers free for any library card holder (not a card holder? Sign up online here.) Of particular interest to GM are the Post archives, which go back to 1877, but there are other more limited archives for other newspapers like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.

GM’s of the position that any randomly selected newspaper from the past is going to be fascinating. But luckily for those looking for a particular piece of information, the archives have a strong search function. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Jim_Malone.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Georgetown football victory wins bride for student (in 1927).
  • GM heard that the Magic Wardrobe closed its Middleburg store last month, so it seems highly unlikely the Georgetown location will reopen after a tax dispute shut them down last week.

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Now and a Long Time Ago: M and 33rd

This week on Now and a Long Time Ago, GM slides over to M between Wisconsin and 33rd. Due to some technical difficulties with his computer, GM doesn’t have one of those nifty slide features working today, but you get the drift.

The photo above was taken in 1966. The building at the center is the Reckert House, which is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Georgetown and one of the only wood frame structures on M St. It was built in the late 18th century.

It was at one point owned by Francis Dodge, who owned the Dodge Warehouse on the corner of Wisconsin and K. By the early 20th century it was owned by George Reckert who ran a grocery store there. Starting in 1960, it housed the Columbia Glass & Mirror Co., which as you probably recognize from their current location in Glover Park (they even use the same font for their sign!).

Columbia Glass & Mirror stayed at this location at least until the early 1980s. GM’s not sure when they left, but it’s now Anthropologie:

If you look closely at the old photo, you can see that Clyde’s was there already (they opened up just three years earlier in 1963. Interesting fact that GM discovered while researching that previous fact: Clyde’s is named after the River Clyde in Scotland.)

On the left you can see that there’s just air where the Georgetown Park condos now loom.

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