This week for Georgetown Time Machine, GM is visiting a new collection for him, the National Archives. In particular, it is the Archive’s collection of incredibly detailed aerial photography of DC from the first half of the 20th century (thanks to the great Old Time DC for the idea). This particular photo is of the western end of the Key Bridge and the remnants of the aqueduct bridge in July 1931. And the resolution is such that we can really dive in to explore southwest Georgetown in the early 30s!
Right off the bat, we can see that the aqueduct bridge was just a skeleton at this point:
The Key Bridge was constructed in 1923, at which point the aqueduct bridge was closed. It wasn’t demolished until 1933 though, as this photo partially attests. And the abutments remained until the 60s.
Next to the aqueduct bridge, you can see the massive Dempsey’s Boathouse (just next to the still extant Washington Canoe Club), which also lasted until the 60s:
You can see several blocks of buildings that are simply gone now:
Here are two rows of houses along Prospect St. and St. Mary’s. They’re totally gone now and weren’t replaced with anything. GM has often wondered why they were torn down, but hasn’t turned up a reason yet.
This row of buildings was just east of the aqueduct bridge, and included the famous Francis Scott Key Mansion. They were demolished to make way for the Whitehurst Freeway in 1948.
Here is where the streetcar went across to what is now the Hoya Saxa sign, on its way out to Cabin John. Looks like there was a shed to store streetcars just west of GU’s campus:
Not in Georgetown, but GM believes this is the former Dunmarlin estate on Foxhall Rd., once owned by the Duncan and Marjorie Phillips:
Here is E.D.E.N. Southwarth’s home on Prospect, although it was much changed from the time she lived there:
Anyway, click the photo at the top to really explore for yourself. GM looks forward to returning to this great collections again soon.