Georgetown Time Machine: Handsome Structure

This week for Georgetown Time Machine, GM checks out a real estate news article from 1917. And, as you will soon see, things weren’t that different back then.

The article concerns the construction of two new apartment buildings along Wisconsin Ave:

The article mainly discusses one of the two apartment buildings, specifically a building at the southwest corner of Wisconsin and Garfield. It doesn’t seem to have survived to the current day:

But GM is more interested in the second building, which only gets a photo, seen up top.

If you read the caption, you’ll see it’s a building at the corner of Wisconsin and Hall Place. It’s still there; it’s where the Starbucks was until recently. But what it certainly is not is in Georgetown, as the top of the photo suggests.

Saying something is in Georgetown when it’s not is hardly something unfamiliar to today’s observers. But what struck GM was that this phenomenon existed as early as 1917. Georgetown at the time was hardly a desirable neighborhood worthy of associating a new building with. Indeed Glover Park–where this actually is–was a new neighborhood, desirable amongst those trying to move out of the slums of Georgetown. Perhaps this can be chalked up to Glover Park simply not having enough awareness to be used for the photo. But who knew this practice was so old?

The last thing GM will note is how the article makes a big to-do about the first building being along the historic route of General Braddock’s troops on their way to Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War. What an enormously random bit of information. Was this journey more famous 100 years ago? Was the French and Indian War itself a bigger deal? History is pretty odd when you start digging…


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