Archive for historic comparison

Then and Now: 477 H Street, NW

Posted in Chinatown, Then and Now with tags , on August 5, 2009 by Kent

International Exchange BankThen: The International Exhange Bank ca. 1920.
Blinded Veterans AssociationNow: Home to the Blinded Veterans Association.
Below is another image of the bank ca. 1920.
International Exchange Bank 2


Then and Now: The Toronto Apartment Building

Posted in Condos/Apartments, Dupont Circle, Then and Now with tags , , on July 28, 2009 by Kent

Toronto ApartmentThe Toronto, located at the southwest corner of 20th and P Streets, NW, began life in 1908. An April 12, 1908, article in the Washington Times described the beginnings of the Toronto in this manner.

Work was commenced last week on the six-story apartment house to be erected at Twentieth and P streets northwest, by Thomas H. Pickford. The architect, A. H. Beers, has also submitted final designs, which have been accepted, for a structure to cost $125,000.

The building will face eighty feet on Twentieth street and ninety feet on P street, with the entrance on the latter street. The materials to be used are gray brick ad stone, while the frame will be of steel.

Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the building and the one that will most quickly attract the attention of apartment hunters is the abundance of light afforded by the unusual number of windows. On the P street front the plans provide for twenty-five bay windows, with three windows each, and thirty-eight other windows. The Twentieth street front has a corresponding number.

There are to be six apartments on each floor, of four, six, and eight rooms each, an arrangement not found in many Washington apartment houses.

Mr. Pickford expects to have the building ready by the first of October. This is one on the largest pieces of private building now in progress in the District, and will afford employment to a large number of men through the summer. Its completion will add another high-grade apartment building to the already large number constructed in recent years.

Apartment at 20th and  P, NW
Other than being painted, the exterior of the building hasn’t changed that much over the years, as you can see from the images below. It does appear that a decorative cornice has been lost over the years.
Toronto Apartment
Two close up details of the bay window decorations are after the jump Continue reading

Then and Now: Selling Gas at Florida Ave & P Street, NE

Posted in Eckington, Gas & Service Stations, Shaw, Then and Now with tags , , , on July 27, 2009 by Kent

Florida Ave. & P Street, NE, 1929BP at Florida & P St, NE, 2009

Then and Now: The corner of Florida and P has been providing gas for automobiles for over 80 years. The photo on the left was taken in 1929 when the Penn Oil Company was doing business there. Today the corner is operated by BP.

Then and Now: The Investment Building

Posted in Beaux Arts, Downtown, Then and Now with tags , , , on July 24, 2009 by Kent

Investment Building ca. 1925Investment Building

Then (left): The Investment Building ca. 1925. Now (right): The same location today.

The Investment Building was scheduled for occupancy on July 1, 1924. Situated on the northwest corner of 15th and K Streets, NW, the building was designed by Washington’s premiere Beaux-Arts architect, Jules Henri de Sibour.

According to the Washington Post of the time, it was considered to be in the Italian renaissance style with the entire frontage finished in limestone. The facades were broken up with fluted ionic columns, the bays emphasized by spiral cut stone and rusticated quoins.

Many novel and interesting features were included in the Investment Building, chief among them the provision for parking in the basement. The Post claimed the building was the first office structure in the East to adopt this feature with parking for 200 automobiles. Other modern conveniences included six high-speed elevators, with express service for the upper floors of the eleven story building. There was also a separate freight elevator.

A public information bureau was also installed in the main lobby which furnished data regarding trains, theaters, hotels, current events, etc., to the general public. This was unique to the Investment building in 1924.

Fast forwarding to 1999, with the exception of the southern and eastern facades, the entire building was razed and replaced by Cesar Pelli. The new Investment Building opened in the fall of 2000. Some consider the new interior space among the best in the city. The upper floors are currently occupied by Sidley Austin LLP.
Investment Building(Image from March 9, 1924, Washington Post)

Then and Now: 824 Varnum St., NW

Posted in Petworth, Then and Now with tags , on July 22, 2009 by Kent

824 Varnum Street824 Varnum Street

824 Varnum as it looked ca. 1920 (left) and as it appears today (2009).

Then and Now: Armored Vehicles

Posted in Automobiles, Then and Now, Vintage Vehicles with tags , on July 20, 2009 by Kent

Postmaster General examines new bandit proof truck 1925Then: The Postmaster General examines a new bandit proof truck ca. 1925.

Dunbar ArmoredNow: a Dunbar Armored vehicle located at the corner of K St. and Connecticut Avenue, July, 2009.

Then and Now: the Congressional Club

Posted in Shaw, Then and Now with tags , on July 15, 2009 by Kent

CONGRESSIONAL CLUBThen: A 1914 architectural drawing of the Congressional Club, located on the northeast corner of New Hampshire Avenue and U Street, NW.

Congressional ClubNow: Founded in 1908, the original purpose of The Congressional Club was to provide a non-partisan setting for friendships among the spouses of members of the House and Senate in Washington, D.C. Although the scope of the Club and the breadth of its activities have increased over the years, its purpose remains the same.