Carl Mydans’s Georgetown

In the Library of Congress’s digital photograph collection is a group of photos taken by Carl Mydans of the capital’s poorer neighborhoods in the 1930s. A subset of these photos is of Georgetown. GM’s used them before occasionally, but Shorpy.com’s use of one of the more amusing of the shots last week inspired GM to do a little comparative work with the old shots.

For instance, the photo above of three boys playing with trucks on the sidewalk is on the 3400 block of O St.



Here’s another shot from across the street:

The shot used by Shorpy is from down the street a few blocks:

Here’s the caption from that shot: “Poor white hallway, Georgetown, D.C. Seldom do these people have even the desire to clear up rubbish, and the broom shown here seems to be out of place.”

That messy house is 3607 O St. and it’s now owned by Georgetown University:

Across the street there used to be a rickety wood frame house:

Here are couple shots from down the same block:

All the photos are from the Library of Congress

6 Comments

Filed under History

6 responses to “Carl Mydans’s Georgetown

  1. Kate Whitmore

    You can find this same shot, alongside an on-site reenactment by three Hyde Elementary boys (as the ones in the original CM shot most likely also were) in the monograph “Hyde: A Centennial Celebration 1907-2007,” page 17.

    I can remember the poor white families who still lived in Georgetown in the mid-1960s. They were pretty much gone a decade later.

  2. Wow! Carl Mydans’s Georgetown looks classic! The picture looks awesome! Thank you for comparing the old and new town. It is a joy to the DC lovers 🙂

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