Historic Photos

I took my first photos of Near Southeast in 2000, but of course there are many many photos from much earlier dates out there. Here are some that I've found online, with links to more. But, being respectful of copyrights and permissions, this page will probably not ever be as complete as people would like. (That's why I only use my own photos on the rest of the site.)

I did not take any of these photos; I link to the original site where possible. Many of these photos are from the Library of Congress American Memory Collection and Dave's Electric Railroads; if you're interested in DC historical photos, there's a lot of them on these sites to browse and search. And the official web site for The Yards includes a page devoted to the long history of what used to be the Navy Yard Annex and the Southeast Federal Center. In addition, the District Department of Transportation has begun posting photos from its archives.

Visit the DC Public Library's Washingtoniana room in person to browse scads of historic photos and documents.
 

Now Added! Detailed Images of Near Southeast From the 1990s



An overhead view of the Washington Navy Yard in 1918, along with the areas north of M Street. From the Washington Navy Yard Naval Historical Center, where you can also view many additional photos and paintings of the Navy Yard through history. (1918)


A view of the Navy Yard and points north during a 1936 flood. From the Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey; this collection has many, many, many old photos and drawings and descriptions of the Navy Yard. Visit the American Memory home page, and search on "Navy Yard DC" to browse them.


An overhead view from 1939 of the western portion of Near Southeast. The grand South Capitol Street that we know today doesn't exist here, but would run horizontally through the middle of the photo. Virginia Avenue is at far left (remember, this is before the freeway was built); then the railyards (now the location of 70/100 I Street), which front I Street. You can see the old white warehouse at upper left which today is the parking lot at 2nd and H. The streets from left are Virginia Ave., I Street, K Street, L Street, M Street, and N Street, so the very far right of the photo is where the Nationals ballpark is being built. On the south side of M Street, you can see what is now the WMATA Southeastern Bus Garage. From the files of the old DC Alley Dwelling Authority, now held by the DC Housing Authority. (1939)


Another overhead view of Near Southeast from 1939, with M Street running along the right edge of the photo, and I Street and then Virginia Avenue at far left. Running across the bottom of the photo is the site of Canal Park. At the corner of 4th and M, on the site of what is now 300 M Street, is the original Van Ness school building, which operated until 1956 when it was replaced. The open field at top center is about where the new Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters' field is now located, along with the now-torn down Capper Community Center. This is all before Capper/Carrollsburg was built. From the files of the old DC Alley Dwelling Authority, now held by the DC Housing Authority. (1939)


Looking at the Navy Yard Annex and the Navy Yard from above South Capitol Street, in 1946. This shows what we've come to know as the Southeast Federal Center back when it had many more buildings, at the time when the Navy Yard stretched all the way to First Street. At the bottom left of the photo is the WMATA Southeastern Bus Garage; the rest of the lower portion of the photo is where the Nationals ballpark is now being built. Old Capper Seniors is at upper right. Capper/Carrollsburg buildings at left. From the Washington Navy Yard Naval Historical Center, where you can also view many additional photos and paintings of the Navy Yard through history. (1946)


Looking east on M Street, near 10th Street, circa 1949. The storage tank at right is believed to be on the Washington Gas site, so perhaps the cross street is 11th Street, with the brick wall at right being the Navy Yard. If you look at the photo above this one, the 1946 overhead view of the Navy Yard, you can see this storage tank. From the District Department of Transportation Historical Photo Archives; visit their page for a larger version of this photo. (1949)


Looking south down South Capitol Street, south of N Street, circa 1957, soon after the opening of the Frederick Douglass Bridge. From the District Department of Transportation Historical Photo Archives; visit their page for a larger version of this photo. You can also see my photos from this same vantage point since 2005. (1957)


Another overhead view of the Navy Yard Annex and the Washington Navy Yard, around 1960, along with the areas north of M Street. You can also see Capper/Carrollsburg buildings at left. From the Washington Navy Yard Naval Historical Center, where you can also view many additional photos and paintings of the Navy Yard through history. (1960)


Looking into Near Southeast from above a very muddy Anacostia River, in April 1973. The Douglass Bridge runs below, with the Florida Rock site, the pumphouse at what's now Diamond Teague Park, and the DC Water land being closest to shore. The many light industrial buildings on what became the Nationals Park footprint are also visible. See the full-sized version, via the National Archives. (1973)



A 1939 photo of the rear of the houses that used to stand at 1009-1013 5th Street, SE, that were eventually torn down to make way for the Capper/Carrollsburg project, now itself torn down. From the files of the old DC Alley Dwelling Authority, now held by the DC Housing Authority. (1939)


A photo showing one of DC's old streetcars, looking down 8th Street from just north of L Street, toward the Latrobe Gate of the Navy Yard. The buildings at left today house Chicken Tortilla and the Port Cafe. From the Dave's Rail Pix web site. (undated)



One of DC's old streetcars turning onto M Street from 7th Street, in July 1961, on its way to the garage at 8th and M now known as the "Blue Castle." The old Capper Seniors building is at rear. From the Dave's Rail Pix web site. (7/1961)


Another streetcar shot, showing an old car scrapped on L Street behind what is now known as the "Blue Castle." You can recognize at rear the building that is now the 7th and L Market. From the Dave's Rail Pix web site. (5/24/1963)


More: Overhead Images of Near Southeast, 1992


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