Greater Greater Washington


Then and Now: Arcade Market / DC USA

DC USA (northern section)
Click on an image to enlarge.

Then (left): Photographed ca. 1920, the Arcade Market at 14th Street and Park Road opened for business on December 12, 1910. It was scheduled to be razed in 1948.

Now (right): The northern half of the $150 million DC USA complex, which opened in March, 2008, is now on the site.

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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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Ugh. Looked a lot better back in the day.

by Dan Miller on Jul 8, 2009 4:05 pm • linkreport

Arrgh! That was a cool building we lost. Any idea who the arhitect was and when it was built?

by Thayer-D on Jul 8, 2009 4:12 pm • linkreport


by Simon on Jul 8, 2009 4:24 pm • linkreport

If you want to read more about the neighborhood history, I wrote a paper that includes a large section on the history of the Columbia Heights neighborhood, it's decline, and revitalization. Check it out by going to the following website:

by Pete Witte on Jul 8, 2009 4:41 pm • linkreport

Definitely a loss. What was there in the meantime?

by цarьchitect on Jul 8, 2009 5:29 pm • linkreport

@ tsarchitect -

My guess is that those buildings came down on or before the 1968 riots. I've lived in CH ever since I moved here 10 years ago, and for a long time all that area had was a few car repair garages (on Irving near 14th), along with the old Post Office (the facade was integrated into DC USA), and a bunch of raw land. Sad to see what was there before compared to now...

by MarkM on Jul 9, 2009 11:33 am • linkreport

A new Arcade Market was put up to replace the one that was razed, and the preserved facade on the Irving Street side of DCUSA is from that replacement building. Natives like me who grew up in the area after the '68 riots remember the People's Drug store and a laundromat, among other thing. Also see here:

by Pat on Jul 9, 2009 11:40 am • linkreport

A new Arcade Market was put up to replace the one that was razed, and the preserved facade on the Irving Street side of DCUSA is from that replacement building.

The facade on Irving Street was part of a Pontiac dealership (see this photo) already open when the Arcade was torn down in '48 (see "New Building Will Replace Historic Arcade Market, Shops", 3/7/48 Post.) From an ad in the 4/13/47 Post:

by rockcreek on Jul 9, 2009 12:23 pm • linkreport

Ah - good work rockcreek!

by pat on Jul 9, 2009 1:45 pm • linkreport

Signs from the Pontiac dealer lot were still standing (the side view of Chief Pontiac from the 50s) well into the 90s.

by Rich on Jul 9, 2009 11:06 pm • linkreport

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