Georgetown Time Machine: Looking West

This week on Georgetown Time Machine, GM returns to a similar spot from last week’s inaugural edition. It’s an aerial shot from near the intersection of K and Rock Creek Parkway. But today’s shot is looking west, and from a much later date.

The shot from last week was from about 1947. Today’s shot is not dated on the DDOT website from where it came. It is clearly after that date because the Whitehurst is shown, which wasn’t built until 1949. And at least one building change that GM recognizes would put this photo well into the 1950s, if not 1960s. The blurry cars even look more like 1970s cars.

Here are a few interesting things to notice from a closer look:

The building GM noticed is above. Or rather the absence of a building is above. This is the intersection of Grace and Wisconsin. GM examined this intersection recently. There once was a building on the southwest corner of the intersection. That building appears to have been torn down in the 1950s or 60s. As you can see, it is not there in today’s photo.

A little to the right you can see where the mall is today and what it looked like before it was constructed in the early 1980s. It was a streetcar facility.

Down towards the bottom you can clearly see the West Heating Plant complete and functioning. GM believes those are piles of coal ready to burn to the left of the building. Between that and the pork rendering plant, lower Georgetown must have been a thoroughly noxious place to breathe.

You can see here the extent of the industrial building that dominated the waterfront. But what you don’t see might date this photo possibly into the 1970s. The massive Capital Traction Powerhouse building cannot be seen along the water. That was torn down in 1968.

Of all the waterfront buildings, this is one that would’ve been worth saving. Oh well…

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