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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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Union Garage: 1924

Union Garage: 1924

Washington circa 1924. "Union Garage." The Union Building on G Street, venue for the 1917 Auto Show. In July 1917 it was taken over by the Semmes Motor Company, offering 24-hour repair service as well as showrooms for Dodge and Hudson cars. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

 

And that rhymes with "P"

How convenient - you can play a game of pool next door while you're waiting for your flivver to be fixed!

Union Building

Wow, so much to see in this photo. I love the old skyline shots.

The Union Building was erected in 1892-93 at the suggestion of the Postmaster General, who wanted space for a new city post office. It was initially run by a private company and rented to the federal government. Congressional investigations in 1911 revealed that the government was being ripped off by exorbitant rent for the building and suggested this might be due to political connections of the buildings owners. Converted to garage in 1915 and purchased by Semmes Motor Company in 1919. The address range seems to be 613-621 G street.

Elsewhere on Shorpy: The interior is also seen in this photo of the Semmes service department. Also an article on Semmes plans to update the building as a "modern" service station.

Verizon Horizon

This whole block is now the Verizon Center, where the Washington Wizards and Capitals play. On the right is my church, St. Mary's. It used to serve the German Catholic Population in Washington. It was still a German-speaking parish when this photo was taken. The building immediately to the right of the church is the old school and to the left is the rectory. I believe the domed building behind and just to the left of the Union Building (partially obscured) is the historic 6th and I synagogue. Most everything else is gone.

Adverti$ing

Thomas Cusack was quite the entrepreneur. Started in 1875, with nothing but a paintbrush and ambition, and now the company is worth $26 million.

Union Garage: 1924

What cemetery is that in the background, and what's the huge building far away with the colonial tower?

[I see a lot of tents in the background. Maybe Camp Meigs. I'm not sure about a cemetery. - Dave]

Market Building

Is that the old market building, later the wax museum in the Mount Vernon triangle, peeking up above the garage in the background?

[You mean the Liberty Market at Fifth and K? Yes it is. - Dave]

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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