Georgetown Time Machine: Lower Georgetown

This week for Georgetown Time Machine, GM is checking out a rare view of lower Georgetown. This photo, from the DDOT collection, is rare because so many of the vintage shots of lower Georgetown focus on the waterfront factories and warehouses. The jumble of industrial and residential buildings between K St. and M St. don’t typically feature in old photos like this.

There is so much to see in this photo, GM doesn’t even really know where to start. Unfortunately he can’t quite start with the date, since that isn’t clear from DDOT’s records. From looking at the cars, GM would guess the 1950s, but that’s just a guess.

The street at the bottom of the photo is 30th St. The large building just below and right of center is still there, part of the foundry building:

People used to park along the canal:

There appears to have been a lumber yard on Thomas Jefferson:

GM’s not sure what that huge building across the street is.

Next door to where this big building is the building where Baked and Wired is:

The sign says “Jefferson Spring Service Co.”, which was a shop that would service car suspension springs, at least according to this matchbook sold on Ebay:

The overall Georgetown skyline doesn’t look so different:

All in all, this is a fascinating shot of a time when industrial and residential Georgetown existed jowl-to-jowl, particularly along 30th and Thomas Jefferson. So much of this industrial fabric has been torn down and replaced with bland 1970s and 1980s office buildings.




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2 responses to “Georgetown Time Machine: Lower Georgetown

  1. The lumber yard was W.T. Galliher & Bro. They were there until the early ’80’s

  2. The photo was taken from the West Heating Plant.

    The large shed building was the Rosslyn Steel and Cement Co., on the west side of Thomas Jefferson St. It was torn down and became a large surface parking lot. I can’t offhand remember the demolition date, but 1960 comes to mind..

    The building to its right was an auto and truck springs garage. It was repurposed by the architect Chloethiel Smith, and is now home to Baked and Wired.

    The construction equipment storage yard became a used car storage lot, and is now the Venezuelan embassy. The embassy building was built to be used as an inn but never became such.

    I believe the yard surrounding the Foundry was the garage / storage area for a plumbing supply company.

    The white smoke is likely from Hopfenmaier’s.

    From the cars, I would date the photo as mid to late 1950s.

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