The Shorpy Archive
 
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
Join and Share

 
Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

 
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

 
 
 
 
Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
About the Photos

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.

 
 
JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600
VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Wakefield Hall: 1926

Wakefield Hall: 1926

1926. "W.H. West Co., Wakefield." Wakefield Hall was "an imposing new apartment edifice" put up by W.H. West Co. at 15th and V streets N.W. in Washington. Rents: $60 to $160 a month. National Photo Co. View full size.

 

Ghosts

We regularly see ghost people, but I think that this is the first time I recall seeing a ghost truck in a Shorpy photo.

[That's a person crossing the street from the corner on the right. His hat is in front of the delivery van. - Dave]

Still there and still a rental

Though now, instead of sky-high rents, it's a rent controlled building. The church in the background is still there, too, but the steeples are gone.

Not So Sky-High Actually

Rent at $60 would just top a bit over $700 today, which for an urban location, no matter what city, is actually a bargain. There may have been a number of choices in the gap to $160 also, and many people today would jump at the chance to have that low a rent! Murphy beds and fold-in ironing board as well as dumbwaiter garbage collection and a doorman were in fashion & high regard and the smart set would be flabbergasted with these digs.

It rains only on one block of the street?

Why is only part of the street wet, and none of the sidewalk? Clearly it isn't from rain, but what would it be from?

[Street cleaning. - Dave]

Sky-high Rents

$60 to $160 a month was hugely expensive in 1926. The tenants must have been very well off to afford it. In most cities and towns in the 1920s and 30s one could rent a nice two-bedroom house with a yard and a garage for $20 to $30 a month, and frequently less. In the mid-1930s, my dad paid $15 a month for a comfortable house in Casper, Wyoming (not Washington, for sure, but fairly crowded with oilfield crews and railroad workers). He could easily afford it because he was making $75 a month as a telephone lineman.

Still there...

...and looking much the same, although the street scene has changed a lot over the past 83 years.


View Larger Map

 
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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2014 Shorpy Inc.