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The Raleigh: 1920

The Raleigh Hotel at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington circa 1920. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

The Raleigh Hotel at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington circa 1920. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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The elegance of Raleigh's

My father, who was the best-dressed man I ever knew, purchased his clothes at Raleigh's and Thomas Saltz. My husband, who is from Massachusetts, is the second-best-dressed man I ever knew, so in the early years of our marriage, I introduced him to Raleigh's. Whenever we visited my hometown, my husband would shop there. We were devastated when Raleigh's Connecticut Avenue store closed and became a Filene's basement (good heavens!). Where are the elegant gentlemen of yesteryear?

Raleigh Haberdasher clothing

I bought a pristine Raleigh Haberdasher women's suit at a rummage sale. I'm a collector of vintage jewelry, hats, clothing, & purses and I would like to determine the approximate age of the suit. Can someone give me information about the Raleigh Haberdasher store so I might determine the approximate date. I would also like information about Raleigh Haberdasher (if there is such a person). Thanks. My e-mail is

[A haberdasher is a seller of clothing -- it's not someone's last name. Raleigh was the name of the hotel the store was in. Did you read the "Raleigh Haberdasher" comment below? - Dave]

The Lansburger

I remember all of the establishments you mention. I also remember that the Raleigh Hotel had an indoor swimming pool on one of the higher level floors. I recall F Street as a glittering heart of shopping in the late 1940s early 1950's. A womens' clothing store named Jellef's stands out particularly for me because it had fascinating concave display windows that gave the impression that one could reach in and examine the items that had been set out. My father and uncles had a shoe store on 14th Street and my mother and I would take the bus and trolley there from Southwest Washington, where we lived. She would take me to lunch at Lansburgh's where something called "The Lansburger" was served.

Raleigh Haberdasher

Raleigh Haberdasher, or Raleigh's as we used to call it, began as a shop inside the hotel back in 1911. Just one of the many local emporia that were distinctively Washington, D.C. Does anyone remember Woodie's (Woodward & Lothrop), The Hecht Co., Lewis & Thomas Saltz, Lansburgh's, Kann's, Jellef's, Julius Garfinkel and Britches of Georgetown? I hardly recognize downtown D.C. these days, so much has changed. For the better, I'm sure.

WTTG - Westinghouse Broadcasting

The WTTG studios were on the top floors of the Raleigh hotel, broadcasting on Channel 5 in the metro area. I recall that around 1962 I went with a group of other kids who had a muscular dystrophy carnival to the Bill Gormley Show to present the donation. Bill showed a Three Stooges episode and some cartoons during afternoons. While waiting to go on, we were next to the set of Captain Tugg's "Channel Queen." This was the pilot's house of a tugboat and Popeye cartoons were presented during that half-hour, after-school program.

Frank R. Scheer
Railway Mail Service Library


I can't remember when it was demolished, but I'm sure it was before my time.

[1964. Although it has a near twin in the Willard Hotel, designed by the same architect. Below: Where the Raleigh was. - Dave]

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Below, the Willard Hotel a few blocks away.

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1930s postcard view of the Raleigh and its lobby:

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