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Then and Now: 17th and Pennsylvania, NW

Street scene near 17th Street and State, War & Navy building, Washington, D.C.Pennsylvania and 17th Street, NW

Left: Street scene of Pennsylvania Avenue looking southeast toward the intersection of 17th Street, ca. 1917. Right: The same scene (but in the rain) today.

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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Hazel,Ackridge,Smith & Carr vandalized many many lovely and otherwise salvagable building in DC from the 1960's onward.

The building on the right is one of these atrocities-

the best thing about it is the excellent painting in the lobby.

by w on Oct 30, 2009 4:31 pm • linkreport

Right: The same scene (but in the rain) today.

Looks to me like it's raining in the left-hand picture too. Am I mistaken?

by cminus on Oct 30, 2009 5:23 pm • linkreport

Wow, the "thens" almost always look better than the "nows."

by Hiya on Oct 30, 2009 7:26 pm • linkreport

I dunno, the old building doesn't look too great, although it's probably intentionally rusticated pseudo-Richardsonian or something, so it just looks old and beatup. Doesn't look like much street level retail, except for the pushcarts, and at least the new building offers a shelter from the rain.

by spookiness on Oct 30, 2009 10:06 pm • linkreport

Speaking about atrocities, can I loudly complain about the blockage of the vista on the Old Executive building by the tourist booth and a tree? It is a disgrace to L'Enfant's plan of wide vistas in the city. And that on Pennsylvania Avenue, the greatest of all Avenues!

by Jasper on Oct 31, 2009 7:20 am • linkreport

hmm, I think the security stations, bollards and various parked police cars are more dangerous to the views than a little tourist booth.

by charlie on Oct 31, 2009 3:15 pm • linkreport

FWIW, I only counted 2 women visible in the old shot. There's only one visible in the new photo, but then again, there are a lot fewer people in the new picture anyways.

by Bilsko on Nov 1, 2009 9:04 am • linkreport

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