Photo by Michael Foley Photography.
Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:
GM loves browsing around Google Maps. It’s a quick way to survey the city without leaving the couch. And GM was particularly excited to find out that a website called historicalaerials.com archives old aerial photos and enables you to browse around them. For Georgetown, the earliest shots are from 1951.
On one level, it’s simply fascinating to stare down at the shot above and know that it’s Georgetown frozen in a moment from 61 years ago. If you could zoom in close enough, you’d see bobby soxers and woodies on the streets. And more poignantly, it could be that somewhere down there a young Congressman Kennedy could be among the small dots on the sidewalk.
As for specific sites that GM noticed:
Here you can see the historic Curtis School still standing where the Hyde-Addison playground now is. This beautiful building was torn down in 1951, the year this shot was supposedly taken. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
For those that are more visually minded, here’s where all the openings (green), closings (red), and intra-Georgetown moves (blue) happened last year.
On Friday, regular reader William posed this question in the comments section to this post:
[W]here exactly does the north end of Georgetown end?
Georgetown is one of the few neighborhoods in the District whose boundaries are actually laid out by federal law. The Old Georgetown Act states that:
there is hereby created in the District of Columbia a district known as “Old Georgetown” which is bounded on the east by Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway from the Potomac River to the north boundary of Dumbarton Oaks Park, on the north by the north boundary of Dumbarton Oaks Park, Whitehaven Street and Whitehaven Parkway to Thirty-fifth Street, south along the middle of Thirty-fifth Street to Reservoir Road, west along the middle of Reservoir Road to Archbold Parkway, on the west by Archbold Parkway from Reservoir Road to the Potomac River, on the south by the Potomac River to the Rock Creek Parkway.
What does that look like in Google maps? Voila: