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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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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Capitol: 1915

The Capitol: 1915

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

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


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.

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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