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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Ambassade de France: 1927

Ambassade de France: 1927

Washington, D.C., circa 1927. The last of three National Photo glass negatives labeled "Jordan & Co." The view is of the French Embassy across from Meridian Hill Park on Sixteenth Street. National Photo Co. Collection. View full size.

 

Warm Afternoon

Based on the tree shadows, and the lush leaves, I'd guess the photo was taken in early afternoon on a nice day June or July. If it was 1927, it wouldn't be that long after all the Lindbergh to-do.

Proximity

You can see that, in the modern photo, that Totten never imagined that there would be something built next door and so close. Was that just open land next door in 1927?

Fantzy-schmantzy

It is.

The old French Embassy

2460 Sixteenth Street NW. Now home to a nonprofit organization, the Council for Professional Recognition.

This former embassy is among the finest of nearly a dozen Meridian Hill mansions built by the formidable Mary Foote Henderson (1841-1931) in collaboration with her favorite architect, George Oakley Totten. Built in 1906-07, the project was her first successful enticement of a foreign mission to Sixteenth Street, in keeping with her great ambition to create an "Avenue of Presidents" lined with lavish embassies and memorials. It is a superb example of Beaux-Arts residential architecture, ranking among Totten's finest work. The embassy was planned and built under French ambassador Jean Jules Jusserand, who served from 1902-25 as one of the most influential and admired foreign diplomats ever assigned to the Washington corps. It was the site of critical political conferences during and after World War I, and served as Jusserand's residence until his retirement. The building is four stories with a domed corner pavilion, loggias, and mansard roofs; facades are limestone and terra cotta in the Parisian high style of Louis XVI and the Second Empire.

-- D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites. More info here.

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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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