How About this for the Historic Signs?

Historic Georgetown street signs from Nat Geo April 1953

Yesterday GM proposed the adoption of new street signs to indicate the Georgetown Historic District as well as the old name of the street. GM got an email afterwards from the BID reminding him that Georgetown actually used to have signs that did just that.

Above you can see a photo from a 1953 National Geographic article about the neighborhood. It shows the signs, in this case it was on 31st St. It also shows the cool old street signs that DC used to us at the top of the lamp post (they were made of glass so at night the light would illuminate the letters and numbers). GM should have remembered these signs as he has mentioned them before.

GM’s not positive, but he believes the signs were put up in 1951 to celebrate Georgetown’s bicentennial. The old signs announcing Old Georgetown at the intersection of Pennsylvania and M also were put up then.

GM’s not sure when these signs came down. Perhaps it was when they installed the modern street signs to avoid confusion. Either way, it’s a loss that we don’t still have them around.

But the BID thinks it might be something worth pursuing. And GM agrees, at least as part of a pilot program. What do you think? Should we try to bring these signs back.


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5 responses to “How About this for the Historic Signs?

  1. I love the idea. I tell visitors I show around about the old names, and their vestiges here and there, but so rarely can you see evidence of them.

  2. Please note that names changed several times for some streets. Which one do you chose? R Street was Road Street, then U Street. This has a little bit of the “Olde Tea Shoppe”-ness to it, perhaps.

  3. Topher

    Olde Tea Shopness is what Georgetown is all about!

    But seriously, most of those name changes happened after the dissolution of Georgetown. For simplicity’s sake we could just choose the last name’s used before dissolution. Or if there’s some uncertainty, just use the more interesting name. It’s not rocket science.

  4. kerlin4321

    Sign me up! Anything is better than the hideous green signs (especially the “units”) and newer poles and lights. I’d like to know more about what other historic towns are doing in this regard.

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