SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Window on Washington: 1939

Window on Washington: 1939

An uncredited view of Washington, D.C., circa 1939. Who'll be the first to drop a pin on the map and tell us where this is? In the meantime, let's settle in and wait for Lars Thorwald to get home. 4x5 inch acetate negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

"Virtually" the same view, today.

Googlemap 3D


Hambo's right!

Based on the sight lines, the photo was taken from the southeast corner of the rooftop of the eight story building at 1125 12th St. NW. The odd-shaped corner of the brick building on the right is the northeast corner of the seven story building at 1116 12th St. NW. The elongated turret has been trimmed but the street-side peak still survives on the townhouse at 1113 Massachusetts Ave. NW. The buildings to the left, as well as those across the street are long gone.

John Nourse House

The building at far left appears to be the John Nourse House at 1107 Massachusetts Ave., NW. It was built c.1840 and is currently on the market with an asking price of $3.6M.

Burke Park

This is taken from the roof or rear window of a building at 1121 12th Street NW, looking south across Burke Park at buildings on L Street.

The statue pedestal visible is for Edmund Burke.


What, I wonder, is the oddly-shaped roof covering?

[A turret, perhaps over a stairwell. - Dave]

You wait for Lars.

I'm waiting for Miss Torso.

Grace Under Pressure

I don't see Lisa anywhere. Not investigating, I take it.

Nice view though.

Settle down over there!

Don't let Dave's oblique reference put a Burr under your saddle!!!

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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