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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 Annex: 1940

The Annex: 1940

Washington, D.C., circa 1940. "Bureau of Engraving and Printing Annex, C Street S.W." 4x5 inch acetate negative. View full size.

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The Unknowns

The forward unknown car is a 1937 Oldsmobile Series F (I think. High-mounted, bullet-shaped tail lights, trim on the side of the hood). The rearward one is a 1938 DeSoto.

What's good for General Motors is good for the country

There was no "huge waste of space" to justify in this building. It has a common type of design that allowed offices to be laid out so that no one was too far from windows. Look at the old General Motors Building (now Cadillac Place) in Detroit. It has a very similar design to that of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Annex, although it is about twice as tall.

No wasted space here

The type of architecture is common for large office buildings, apartments and hotels of the pre-air conditioned world. There are other examples in DC and other cities all over the US.

To allow ventilation and daylight to reach as many people as possible, floor plates above the main floor (or two) were kept narrow, with operable windows all around.


Jim Dandy, not sure what you are seeing as wasted space. As far as I know, the building was fully occupied with a short time of it being completed. If it's voids between the wings that you're looking at, they exist to provide light and air to all parts of the building. This is pre-A/C Washington DC, and summer can be stifling.

Shorpy Vehicle Identification Imperative

L to R: 1939 Buick, 1935 Oldsmobile, unknown, 1935 Ford, then a couple of VERY interesting unknowns...the sedan moving away on the right is a 1937 Dodge.

When the government gets money for nothing

I wonder how the architect justified the huge waste of space in that building.

SHORPY OLD 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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