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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Rear Entrance: 1937

Rear Entrance: 1937

September 1937. "House in Negro quarter of Rosslyn, Virginia." Washington, D.C., and the Key Bridge form the background for this curious scene. Medium-format negative by John Vachon. View full size.

 

Old W&OD Terminal

If you look off to the left, in the foreground, below the Key bridge you can see the W&OD terminal which was torn down in 1939 to make way for the GW parkway.

Current view

The attached photo was taken in the same general location as this LOC photo. The green space in the foreground of the current photo is the George Washington Memorial Parkway National Park. This portion of the parkway was built between the 1940s and 1950s, and the neighborhood in this photo may very well have been torn down to accommodate it.

You Are Here

This might be about where present-day N. Fort Myer or N. Lynn Street are now. Interesting to see roads are dirt. The Key Bridge Marriott was built where Arlington Brewing Co. was. Its building was erected around the turn of the century and brewery closed in 1916. Ultimately it became Cherry Smash Bottling plant. The Rosslyn area had been location of saloons and brothels until closed in early 1900s. When I was a child in early '50s it was terminus of RF&P railroad and Capital Transit streetcars and also the location of car lots and pawn shops.

Re: Mom locked us out!

Not really, that downstairs backdoor is open and ajar. Looks more like these boys are just fooling around, maybe watching the photographer at work.

Where is this?

It would appear that the location of this photo is now about where the Key Bridge Marriott is located.

Repurposing

In the lower right, you can see that the rear doors from the abandoned truck have been used to patch the roof on the structure next to it

Ancient Auto

Anyone know what make and model car that is? It clearly has not moved in years.

Not Mary Jane

If it was they could afford to move to a nicer place.

Is that a church at one o'clock?

(I think those buttresses would have caught my eye if that building still stood.)
And for more on the Georgetown Tower of Flour
see http://www.shorpy.com/node/5510

Mom locked us out!

I wonder if that was the story behind the three boys on the roof, trying to get in through the window; that Mom was out working and didn't get home as early as she expected (or the boys' job doing yard work was finished before expected).

Castor beans most likely

Looking carefully at that whole stand you can see at least 5 clumps of what appear to be what Nicodeme says--castor bean plants. My mother used to grow them and they make beautiful red accents in a garden, often quite tall, too. I think this is a flower border, despite the ramshackle house. Although not particularly well-tended, there does seem to be a rough logic with lower, flowering plants along the front and the taller at the back. Castor plants are often very red. Ought to have been quite a colorful border.

More on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_bean_plant

Marijuana?

It looks more like castor bean plants to me. They're quite easy to grow pretty much anywhere. The beans are highly toxic though, and are actually used to make the poison ricin.

Okra

I think that's okra--all overgrown after a long summer.

Answer

Allie: I don't think so. To the extent one can tell at this resolution it looks more like Jatropha multifida. Possible some type of cleome (from the flower stalks), but I don't think any cleome has leaves that are heavily serrated like these.

I'd say

this is a second story job.

Question

Is that marijuana growing by the side of the house?

 
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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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