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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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Cement Ponds: 1940

Cement Ponds: 1940

September 1940. "Settling tanks in waterworks. Washington, D.C." Medium format negative by Edwin Rosskam. View full size.

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Still there

This is the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant on MacArthur Blvd. in Washington, DC at the Maryland border. Completed in 1928, it's still in use today. The plant treats water from the Washington Aqueduct originating at Great Falls on the Potomac River.

A recent picture shows that the interior has been stripped to the steel girders.

Look out below

This appears to be the now-abandoned sand filtration unit at the McMillan Reservoir. You can find out more here.

I was able to find a photo of the underside of one of the two the underground sand filtration beds. In the photo they have removed the old dirty sand and are replacing it with new clean material. (Note piles of clean sand dumped in from above.)

Other End

I'm gonna bet we are looking here at the water SUPPLY side of the system, not the sewage settling basins. Don't believe I have ever seen a sewage treatment plant with a hall of Doric columns, or one with a roof for that matter. Would trap the gases and be pretty awful, I would think. This looks like a very cool and pleasant place to be, especially given the current outside temp here in Maryland.

My mistake

Those aren't jacuzzis?

Pretty spiffy

Nice architecture for something that handles sewage.


I like how the sewage plant has a couple of potted palms.

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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