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Smoke and Steam: 1914

Smoke and Steam: 1914

Washington, D.C., circa 1914. "Covered train platforms of Union Station viewed from roof of the City Post Office at Massachusetts Avenue, with First Street N.E. seen along stone wall." At left is perhaps the main attraction of this view, one of the grittier sections of Washington, not usually captured in period photographs. 8x10 inch glass negative, Harris & Ewing Collection. View full size.


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The stone wall

Ground level going up

In fact the area had gone through a huge grade-raising project around 1890, which resulted in the original B&O New Jersey Ave. station being mostly submerged, and a new waiting room being constructed along side it in 1889. This view shows the original portion to the left and the addition to the right.

Short Stories

That row of strangely short buildings at left, including the livery stable, look like the victims of a grade-raising project. They seem to have lost most of their first floor facades when the street was raised, perhaps as part of the Union Station construction.

Herbert Prescott Pillsbury Flour and Feeds

Herbert Prescott Pillsbury, born in Massachusetts on February 29, 1848, died in DC March 22, 1922.

His previous store was at the corner of 3rd Street and New York Avenue NE in Washington, several blocks from the building in this photo.

The road entering that tunnel would be H Street, and directly to the right of this point of view would be Union Station.

The location of the building advertising HP Pillsbury now houses building housing CNN's Washington bureau.

[The address of his establishment here is 54-58 H Street N.E. - Dave]

On my way over!

And I expect the highest prices for my junk.

Gone for Metro

The large building and the smokestack to the left of the tracks and at least the track on the left were removed when the Metro subway was constructed. The building was the power plant for the station.

The stone wall is still there, though. The entire area where the tracks are to the right of the stone wall was filled in as part of the station construction project. That must have been quite a job in the days before modern earthmoving equipment.

[Steam shovels! - Dave]

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