Archive for the Victorian Category

Lost Washington: Center Market

Posted in Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905), Federal Triangle, Markets, Victorian with tags , , , on August 6, 2009 by Kent

Grand Central Palace, which contains bowling alleys and billard parlor at Center Market, Washington, D.C.The block where the National Archives is located, bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, Constitution Ave, 7th Street, and 9th Street, NW, was once the location of Center Market. Designed by Adolph Cluss, it was built in 1871. It was expanded in the 1880s with large wings also designed by Cluss.

Open six days a week from dawn until noon, the market had thousands of daily customers. The structure was a model market with good light, ventilation, drainage, and wide aisles. It was razed in 1931.
Center market interior ca. 1922

Center Market, B Street (Constitution) side

Center Market, B Street (Constitution) side

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Lost Washington: Library @ Soldiers’ Home

Posted in Libraries, Lost Washington, Petworth, Victorian on February 22, 2009 by Kent

Its a true shame that the library at the Old Soldiers’ Home is long gone. Built in 1877 at the corner of Rock Creek Church and Harewood Roads, NW, it was an extremely fine example of the American Stick style, and rare for Washington.

While it was originally intended to be a clubhouse, it was decided to change it to a library during construction, which allowed the transfer of the library from Scott Hall and the freed up space to be converted to much needed bedrooms.

The building was expensive to build, and proved to be expensive to maintain. Because of this, the board of commissioners of the Soldiers’ Home passed a rule shortly after its completion that all future buildings on the grounds would be designed by military architects.

In 1910, when the library was overflowing with 8,000 volumes, the commissioners decided to build Grant Hall on the site of the library, and razed it. The library was transferred back to a new location in Scott Hall. soldiers-home-library