Tagged : historic

Found 12 blog entries tagged as "historic".

capitalsaurus court - washington dc

Photo: Tim Krepp

Washington DC is full of history, but one particular find dates back well before the birth of our nation. It’s said sewer workers discovered the first so-called Capitalsaurus fossil while doing work beneath F Street in the late 1800s.

Crews reported finding some strange bones, including a six-inch bone they suspected may have been a dinosaur bone. According to old news reports, it was about 45 feet underground.

Crews ended up sending it to the Smithsonian, which identified it as part of a dinosaur’s vertebrae. Since then, it’s been debated exactly which kind of dinosaur it came from.

It’s suspected the dinosaur bone once belonged to a meat-eating dinosaur, perhaps one about 15-feet tall and 30-feet long. For reference,

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chinese embassy - adams morgan

While there are certainly some impressive homes in DC to choose from, some buyers are instead choosing to bring new life to some long-standing residences. Some Washingtonians are hard at work, turning some of the city’s former foreign embassies into private homes.

One such example includes the former Libyan Embassy in Kalorama. Built close to the turn-of-the-century, the home was designed in a Flemish Revival style.

It had been unoccupied for about 25 years and was in poor shape at the time a new owner came into the picture. A real estate developer had previously attempted to turn the property into condos, but when that fell through, the building went up back up for sale and a family snapped it up.

After nearly a year of making plans and

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dumbarton bridge - washington dc

Photo: Bob ♫

Georgetown’s East Village is a favorite of families today, but a strong sense of community is just part of its appeal. The area is also filled with history.

Separated by Wisconsin Avenue, East Village appropriately sits to the east of the roadway, while West Village sits to the west. While some say the terms are primarily used for real estate, others say a rivalry between the two can be traced back centuries, to the time a group of Episcopalians split from a west side church and established another church on the east side.

Some grand homes in the area were constructed as far back as the early 1800s in East Village. Although the neighborhood is said to be a bit quieter than its western neighbor, over the years Rose Park in the

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 washington monument

Photo: Yashh

You may think you learned everything you need to know about DC from the history books, but there are several commonly held myths that don’t stand the test of time.

Why are buildings short in DC?

Some say DC buildings have a height limit to keep them from overshadowing the Capitol, but that’s not exactly true. According to history, the limit originally came about for safety reasons. A building’s height is determined by the width of the street it faces.

Are all monuments & memorials crowded with visitors?

When you think of DC you probably have visions of some of the more prominent monuments and memorials. However, not all of them are obvious, and not all of them attract big crowds.

Take, for example, the more obscure

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 dumbarton bridge - washington dc

Photo: Bob ♫

You may not think much about it as you drive over or under Georgetown’s “Buffalo Bridge”, but the bridge actually has a history all its own. Also called Dumbarton Bridge or the Q Street Bridge, the landmark first went up in the early 1900s.

At the time, locals were looking for a way to reduce traffic along M Street and make it easier to travel to some of DC’s other fast-growing neighborhoods and to downtown. The problem, of course, was Rock Creek.

One idea was to divert Rock Creek through a tunnel, but that would likely have cost millions of dollars. The much cheaper alternative was to build a bridge stretching across Rock Creek Park, thereby connecting up Dupont Circle to Georgetown.

Crews considered moving an existing

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cleveland park - washington dc

Showcasing decades of growth and development, Cleveland Park’s hidden historic district presents a full range of homes and buildings, some of which can be dated back to the late 1800s and turn of the century. That’s when electric streetcars first began connecting up Cleveland Park to downtown, and neighborhood growth really began to take off.

Spurred by its new status as a streetcar suburb, Cleveland Park grew rapidly. Historians suspect a number of homes in Cleveland Park may have been constructed as summer homes for those working in nearby Georgetown.

Some of the first homes went in along Newark Street, Highland Place and Macomb, not far from the spot where President Grover Cleveland once owned a home. The diverse neighborhood quickly became

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anacostia big chair - washington dc
Photo: Ted Eytan

It’s definitely one of the DC area’s most unique landmarks, and it’s been that way for well more than a half-century. The descriptively named “Big Chair” stands nearly 20 feet tall and does anything but blend in with its surroundings.

The chair towers high above the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and V Street SE in Anacostia. Much like other roadside attractions, the Big Chair is an icon of sorts for the local community.

First constructed in the late 1950s, the original chair was designed as an advertisement for a local furniture company. The chair was supposed to be a replica of a Duncan Phyfe dining room chair.

Originally constructed out of African Mahogany, the chair weighed in at a whopping 4,600 pounds. At one

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swampoodle park - nomaPhoto: NoMa Parks Foundation

Much more than just an unusual name, Swampoodle is a historic neighborhood with Irish roots. Originally settled by scores of Irish immigrants in the mid 1800s, its said Swampoodle gained its namesake generations ago from a combination of the words “swamp” and “puddle”.

Built up over the former Tiber River, the neighborhood was often marked at the time by standing water and marshy conditions. All these years later the name remains, although it’s not likely that everyone in DC remembers it.

That’s because Swampoodle is now part of the rebranded NoMA community. The opening of Union Station in the early 1900s wiped out many of the old homes that once stood in the area, causing many residents to move away.

While you’ll

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lee-fendall house - alexandria vaPhoto: Craig Fildes

It may sit a long way from the fictional Downton Abbey, but the historic Lee-Fendall House in Old Town Alexandria has real ties to the popular TV show’s set. Downton Abbey is filmed at Highclere Castle, and its current owner is said to be a direct descendant of the original owner of the Lee-Fendall House.

In response to the upcoming Downton Abbey movie release, the Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden is hosting a movie release party. It’s planned for September 28, which activities including a scavenger hunt and a trivia contest.

Guests will also get to learn more about all of the connections between the Old Town site and the movie site, including some characters who were actually based on Fendall family members. For those unable

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georgetown exorcist steps - washington dc

Just in time for Halloween, one of the scariest movies in history could soon receive a true mark in history for generations to come. A set of stairs in Georgetown best known to locals and some visitors as “The Exorcist” steps is in line for a possible historic landmark designation.

A group recently filed an application with the Historic Preservation Review Board. They want the 97 steps leading from M Street to Prospect Street, along with a nearby retaining wall, considered for historic status.

There’s already a plaque in the area noting the significance of The Exorcist Steps and the part they played in the movie. Old movie buffs likely remember the scene that played out in the early 1970s when one of the characters in The Exorcist film, a

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