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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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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.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

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.


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]

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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