Now and a Long Time Ago: Waterfront

This week for Now and a Long Time Ago, GM heads down to the waterfront and digs up the story of the great flood of 1918.

This is a story GM covered before. The Post reported on February 19, 1918:

30,000 Throng Aqueduct Bridge and Neighboring Roads to Witness Wreckage Left By Weeks’ Flood

Everybody nearly was out on the Aqueduct bridge yesterday…watching the ice in the Potomac go by. There were close to 30,000 of them during the height of the ruch witnessing and commenting on the greatest flood the Capital has seen since 1889…A young woman stood on the bridge. She was filled with poetry by the maelstrom which whirled beneath her feet. She grasped her escort by the arm “Ain’t it wonderful what nature can do?” she breathed.

The only boathouse that appears in the old shot that has survived in the green Washington Canoe Club you can see square in the middle of the new shot.

Another item in the old shot that catches GM’s eye is the block of rowhouses on Canal at the bottom of the hill. Nowadays that’s just a hillside of trees.



Filed under Now and a Long Time Ago

3 responses to “Now and a Long Time Ago: Waterfront

  1. Nemo

    My compliments to the photographer — the angle of the modern photo almost perfectly replicates that of the vintage location shot, despite the differences in alignment between Key and Aqueduct bridges. The houses along Canal Road must have been demolished when it was widened to four lanes — sometime in the late 40s or early 50s, probably in connection w/ the Whitehurst Freeway project. As recently as the late 60s, two little houses survived along Canal Road, just past the Exxon station. Their facades were incorporated into the big, tall condo/mansion development that was built in the 80s or early 90s. It’s hard to tell whether the houses on the Prospect Street level, the backs of which face the camera, are the still-existing row that stretches west from the “Exorcist” House. They seem to be directly below the Healy Building, but that could be a trick of the camera. On the other hand, there is a grassy, parklike area just south of GU’s Lauinger Library, across Prospect Street extended, so that may be the site of the tall upper row.

  2. Susan

    Here is a link to some other pictures: Amazing stuff…could it happen again?

  3. Pingback: Ghosts of Buildings Past | The Georgetown Metropolitan

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