Georgetown Time Machine: Pre-Ritz Karate

This week for Georgetown Time Machine, I’m diving back into my collection of photos from 1993. And this one threw me for a loop for a bit. Would you have guessed that this is actually the foot of Wisconsin Ave?

It shows roughly 1015 Wisconsin Ave., which is the east side of the street. Nowadays it’s the Ritz Carlton complex. But back in the early 90s, it looked like a nondescript suburban office park. It even had off street parking in the front of the building. This looks like something off of Rockville Pike (right down to the Karate school and rental car shop).

You can see how this block fit in to the area in this 1963 aerial photo (north is to the right):

It’s the office block at the top center. Just below that (which is to say, to the east) sits the Georgetown incinerator, which was built in 1931 and later incorporated into the Ritz development. To the left you can see the Capital Traction Powerhouse.

Of course, another notable feature of the first picture above is how the sidewalks were just poured concrete. The brick sidewalks you see there now were added during the Georgetown Project early this century (whew, what a phrase to use…) They are not really historic and are a good example of how historical pastiches lacking authenticity can become embraced as the real thing given enough time. I’ve recently learned that actual historic sidewalks in Georgetown were more likely to be made of slate than brick…



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2 responses to “Georgetown Time Machine: Pre-Ritz Karate

  1. Call USA one thousand, Jhoon Rhee means might for right. Decades later, and I still know the phone number. That’s genius marketing.

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