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Then and Now: Esso station in Shaw

Then (left): The Esso station at the northwest corner of Rhode Island Ave. and 6th Street, NW, photographed sometime in the 1920s. (Library of Congress, #npcc 33542)

Now (right): Most of the structure is still there, as are the houses, but the property is fenced and closed. It would be great if the property could be restored.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest primarily within the District. He's worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He's been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is the force behind the blog Park View, D.C.


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The older image can be seen in higher res here

by Steve on Mar 30, 2009 4:30 pm • linkreport

Oh those disappearing gas stations! Bring 'em back!

by ah on Mar 30, 2009 4:45 pm • linkreport

Yeah, can we link the photos to higher res versions -- so I can actually see it?

P.S. One of my recaptcha words below is "Wheaton"!

by Gavin Baker on Mar 30, 2009 5:49 pm • linkreport

It would be great if that structure at that prominent could be used for some kind of high-traffic retail or other business -- right now it's one of those shady car lots that's always closed.

by Caro on Mar 30, 2009 5:59 pm • linkreport

an important thing that no one has caught yet—look at the sidewalks on rhode island avenue in the old picture. they used to be at least twice as wide as they are now. the city has clearly taken pedestrian space and given it over to automobile traffic. it's a shame that (here as well as in many other places in the city) we can't have more streets that don't just give priority to the automobile, especially at the cost of more human-scaled transportation.

by IMGoph on Mar 30, 2009 11:06 pm • linkreport

IMgoph you make a great point applicable to a lot of roads around this area. Rhode Island is tough because they want all 3 lanes during rush hour. What is sad as well is 6th st along that whole stretch from RI to Mass. Its a kind of squished 2 lanes in either direction with cars parked very closely on the curb. The 2 lanes end up encouraging a "rally car" type driving and cars regularly exceed the limit on this stretch. Crossing the street, riding a bike, or getting out of your car on this stretch can be a bit hairy. One lane in each direction with designated turn lanes and timed lights would be so much nicer.

by C on Mar 31, 2009 1:48 am • linkreport

I agree with IMGoph. Cars should be allowed to park on the sidewalk. It's completely unfair that I have to "share the road" with pedestrians, yet I still am not allowed to park my Hummer on the sidewalk. My taxes paid for that sidewalk and I have a right to park there. P.S.: I am not insane.

by monkeyrotica on Mar 31, 2009 7:00 am • linkreport

That corner is still in use as a business and it's not a shady used car lot, it's a garage called Aim Auto, run by a lovely Cambodian couple. I have been bringing my car their for several years.

by Chris in Eckington on Mar 31, 2009 3:42 pm • linkreport

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