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Government Parking: 1939

Government Parking: 1939

July 1939. Washington, D.C. "Parking lot for government employees, and buildings being torn down to make room for parking lot." Medium format negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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Modest Living

Judging by the collection of exclusively lower or mid-priced vehicles shown here (hardly a Packard or Cadillac to be seen!), government employees appear not to have been particularly affluent at that time. Or perhaps they were discreet enough to avoid appearing as such.

Henry Ford Quote:

"You can have it in any color you want, so long as it's black."

Vehicle IDs

Ford was probably the last make to offer an open touring car. A 1936 Ford Phaeton is in Row 4 five from the left. The dump truck facing the camera being hand loaded! looks like a Rainier made in NYC by the keystone shaped emblem.

Plymouth Parking

Bottom-left, two spots to the right of the empty space--1933 Plymouth PD, 2-door. Built later in the model year, as evidenced by the curved bumper. It's a twin to mine, shown here as it looked when I got it in 1987. It's in pieces now, undergoing a sloooow restoration.

Uh, which car is yours, Joe?

Oh, the black one in the seventh row. Might be easier to find your car after most have left for the day.

Pennsylvania Avenue and Fourth Street NW

View is roughly looking northeast. The photo was likely shot from atop a no-longer-standing building located at Pennsylvania & Fourth NW, where the Canadian Embassy is now. The large white building in the top left is the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. The curved roof behind it to the left is Union Station. Top right is the Russell Senate Office Building.

Some of the buildings are still there.

I can see the side of Union Station in the background, the Russel Senate Office Building, the Jones Day building, and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board building. The last two can be seen in the Google Street image. I think the photo was taken where the Department of Labor building is now.

Motor Meltdown

Our car guys and gals will go ape over this one.

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