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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

The Capitol: 1915

The Capitol: 1915

Washington, D.C., circa 1915. "U.S. Capitol, East Front." View full size.

 

Spectacular

A truly beautiful building. Even more impressive when actually there. But some may forget that it's also where the airbag was invented.

Parking Lot

With regards to the comment in "East Front" below, back in the early 90's I worked for a senior congressman who had an office in the Capitol. He and I both lived on the Hill; sometimes I would pick him up at his house and drive him to work. I would park right in front of the Capitol on the House side. I had a metal plate embossed with "103rd Congress" that I would throw on the dash & we would drive right in. Convenient, yes, scenic, no!!

East Front

At least the entire area isn't filled with parked cars as it was during the 1980s and 1990s. The security scares of recent years have had at least that good effect.

No Bollards!

I walked along First Street in front of the Capitol yesterday afternoon. There are bollards everywhere. It was a beautiful fall day, but unfortunately the atmosphere is no longer the welcoming openness seen in this photo.

Can't be Duplicated

What a starkly impressive scene and photo. It's not likely to be repeated due to visual obstructions such as subsequent construction, vegetation and traffic.

It's surprising that approximately 65 years after significant expansion, at which time the dome spire was added, among other changes, the building remained so isolated. And when was it photographed? Early morning on a Sunday? Only one ghost appears walking directly in front.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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