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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Catholic U: 1915

Catholic U: 1915

Circa 1915. "Catholic University, Washington. Main building." Which has a certain Gothic majesty in monochrome. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

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Below is the same view from June of 2017.

I don't think he liked it

When Caldwell Hall (at first called Divinity Hall) opened in 1889, the Washington Post sent a reporter to cover it: "The architecture is massive, simple and severe. There are no insulated columns, no pointed arches or intricate ornamentation. It depends for its effects upon the eye on its severe simplicity of outline and harmonious proportions." Notice he used the word "severe" twice in that one paragraph.

Current Student Here

That's Caldwell Hall, all right. I recognize the striped window-coverings -- those are still there! And the top floor is said to be haunted. The area around it looks completely different now, unfortunately.

Overcompensation of perspective

It took me a few seconds to figure out what's odd about this image. The usual perspective distortion that's created from tilting the camera up is reversed. The photographer must have tilted the film plane down and raised the lens. I'll have to try this next time I'm shooting an imposing building with the 4x5 as it's a kind of interesting effect.

Caldwell Hall

With all due respect to Anonymous Alumnus, this is Caldwell Hall, the oldest building on campus, still fully in use. It is the center of the Theology School, which makes the Gothic majesty fully appropriate.

Marist Hall

I went to Catholic. That's Marist Hall.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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