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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

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Washington Monuments: 1922

Washington Monuments: 1922

May 5, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Vista of Monument from Lincoln Memorial." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Summer of '83

In 1983 I sat at the top of those steps by the columns on the right with a young Italian girl spending her summer vacation with her uncle's family in Maryland and she had never seen Washington D.C. It was a glorious summer afternoon and our hearts were each other's.

Into the Mist

On a warm October evening in 1992, I sat with a girl on the top steps right in front of the columns on the left, and looked down the long vista of the Mall, with the Reflecting Pool in the foreground, the Washington Monument glowing behind it, the beautifully lit dome of the Capitol in the far distance, and a big, full moon hanging overhead. She was from California and had never seen any of this before. After a few moments of quiet, she said simply, "Thank you for showing me this." And my heart was hers.

I'd relive that moment in a heartbeat.

Main Navy

The buildings along the left (north) side of the Mall are the "Main Navy and Munitions" buildings. Built as temporary quarters for the Department of the Navy and the Department of War in 1917, they were torn down in 1970.

The Old Post Office tower is behind them.

Speaking of the Reflecting Pool

Isn't that where -- oh my God! -- they killed Kenny?

Timeless, Indeed

If there's ever a listing of the top 100 photos ever taken this must be on that list. Thank you.

Brand new and timeless

This photo was taken shortly before the dedication of the Memorial on May 30, 1922. Robert Lincoln (79) was there.

The Reflecting Pool is not yet in place, though it was part of the original design and was finished the next year. Ironically, if you go to the Memorial today, you'll find bare dirt again while the pool is being renovated.

The buildings glimpsed to the left along Constitution Avenue. are no longer there; from the same vantage point today you would see part the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Still, if there's a timeless vista anywhere in the United States, this is it.

SHORPY OLD 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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