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About the Photos

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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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.

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Below is the same view from October of 2015.

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.


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?


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.

Still Looks Good Today

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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