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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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Haute Cuisine: 1920

Haute Cuisine: 1920

"No caption." Rooftop dining somewhere near the Washington Monument circa 1920. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

All the President's Men

There is a scene in the movie "All the President's Men" that was shot here on the roof restaurant of the Washington Hotel. The Carl Bernstein character is having lunch with a girl he's charmingly trying to get information from.

Great Place

I stayed there on a trip to D.C. in the Fall of 2007. Every evening found me at that rooftop bar enjoying the view and spending way to much on martinis.

Doric Influence

Do notice the Doric hat rack at the back left. Wow, heavy duty for those few straw hats.

The Luminaries!

Don't forget Buddy Ebsen and Bing Crosby at the front table. And that's even Paul Sorvino, looking right at us, in the very back. Goodman, in his cups, has taken Monica's hat and turned the brim up in swashbuckler style as Monica snapped the picture. There's a ton of celebrity up on that roof!

Flying Fedoras

With a little breeze, the hats on the hatrack are going flying. At least they didn't hang them on the column next to the railing!


ca. 1920, so prohibition is in force since it's definitely not before January 16. There appears to be a bottle with a logo that looks like Budweiser on the second table from the right. I doubt it is, but wonder what that bottle held. Also, what is the dark liquid in the glasses? There are ice cubes, so it's some kind of cola, perhaps. Or iced tea?

[Beer-brewing did not end with Prohibition -- most of the major brands remained on the market with a lower alcohol content. Below, a Budwesier ad from 1922 in the Washington Post. - Dave]


What makes you think this is near the Washington Monument?

More Doppelgangers

Table one: Bill Maher.
Table two: Jimmy Olsen of the Daily Planet.
Table five: Papa Hemingway (or maybe Burl Ives), Gertrude Stein, Warren G. Harding and the back of Calvin Coolidge's head.
Behind that: Shecky Green, Forrest Gump, Ru Paul, Ron Paul, the guy from Goodfellas, and Oliver Stone.

Watch your head!

Food fights at this establishment would be detrimental to pedestrians on the sidewalk below.

Most dangerous hat

The lady on the far right wins the prize.

Roof Dining Room

I love the placement of the skylight in the foreground of this photo: to me, it suggests that the rooftop dining was added as an afterthought after the building was already constructed. It also emphasizes to the diners that they are indeed on a roof.

The term "Sky Terrace" was not used until the late 1940s. Below, advertisements from 1928 and 1951. The 1951 ad reminds me of the Jetsons.




Two tables back: John Goodman as Linda Tripp (facing camera)
Three tables back: Eleanor Roosevelt (facing northwest)
Four tables back: Will Rogers (facing southeast)
Five tables back: Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Sky Terrace

This is the Sky Terrace rooftop restaurant of Hotel Washington at 515 15th Street NW. Elvis famously stayed in Suite 506 a few times and it became a shrine. It's being completely refurbished and will reopen as a "W" Hotel. That rooftop restaurant had a stunning view. Many movies scenes have been shot there.

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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