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(Sunday Rearview Mirror is my new probably-not-weekly series where I'll look back at random pieces of Near Southeast history, giving readers who perhaps didn't know the area existed before the arrival of the Nationals some context and understanding of what this once "forgotten" neighborhood used to be like.)
Though I've documented more than 150 buildings that have been demolished in Near Southeast since I first started photographing the area (initially in fall 2000 and then for real beginning in January 2003) I had taken enough brief drives through the neighborhood in the late 1990s to know that there were a few other long-standing sites that I didn't manage to capture before they were gone. This has bugged me for years, not only because I hate having missed them for my own archive but because I felt like they were an important part of what made up the old Near Southeast.
So it was with a fair amount of wonderment that I spent time over the past week pouring through images from the National Park Service's HABS, HAER and HALS archive of photos, available online thanks to the Library of Congress. The collection contains photos taken above New Jersey, Virginia, and Potomac avenues from helicopter height in 1992, and while I had seen some of these before, I had never downloaded the massive .TIFF images that allowed zooming in to such a degree that buildings and streetscapes became clearly visible.
Buildings I had longed to see documented in public domain photographs*, most of which were demolished in 1999 and 2000, now reappeared, albeit from overhead, in black-and-white and what and sometimes only in grainy depictions. But there they were: Tracks, the nightclub at First and M. The four Capper apartment buildings on Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue. The massive Building 159 at the Southeast Federal Center (seen above). The Washington Star warehouse just south of the freeway that I had driven past hundreds of times but never photographed.
But I found a lot of other "lost" buildings as well, ones that I didn't remember and that probably weren't much to look at at the time, but that help to give a clearer view of what the neighborhood truly looked like just before its first "growth spurt" in 1999-2001 with the arrival of NAVSEA at the Navy Yard. The big finds were the seven or so old rowhouses just north of the (sparkling new) Navy Yard Metro station entrance on New Jersey Avenue, along with another 10 or so along L and Second Streets on what is now the Capitol Hill Tower/Courtyard block. (The Little Red Building did not stand alone since the dawn of time.) The car repair garage and other gritty low-rise buildings that stood where the 1100 New Jersey Avenue office building now is. And so on.
I gathered the images on a new page, with lots of narration of what they show, along with in some cases early photos of mine that captured a few of the buildings before they disappeared. I'm really thrilled that these pictures finally provide the bridge I've wanted for so long between what Near Southeast looked like for many years and what I captured when I first started nosing around.
In future Rearview Mirror posts I'll be talking more about many of these sites, so I didn't go into great detail on the histories of the buildings themselves, but I'm really happy that now there will be images to accompany the stories. I doubt most people will be as excited by these shots as I have been, but I still really recommend taking a few minutes to go through them.
* The "public domain" distinction is important, because I'm sure that photos of many of these buildings exist in other archives, but since they can't be shared online without my ponying up a bunch of $$, they're not of much use to me here.
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Question to CSX says: (6/13/10 11:00 PM)
Yeah, the good old days -- naval gun factories and then public housing...


Jay says: (6/14/10 7:00 AM)
I enjoyed this posting JD. Nice work. You've continued to step up the offerings at your blog, thanks.




the other lesser jd says: (6/15/10 2:28 AM)
Jacqueline, it might be worth adding a paypal link to your sight; I would consider donating if it meant more history about our neighborhood. I bet I'm not the only one. Great addition to the blog, by the way!


the other lesser jd says: (6/15/10 2:29 AM)
*site*, sorry it's late!


RG says: (6/15/10 3:27 PM)
Why would anyone want to save Building 159? It was a dump. I spent four years there in the 1980's. I might have a few photos -- if I find any, I'll scan them for you.


C says: (6/16/10 8:31 AM)
five guys is open today - new outdoor seating and umbrellas at all tables - they are classing it up a little - nice!

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City Government Data for Near Southeast Records added or updated recently displayed here; click the "archive" links to see additional detail and older records. All data from DC Government databases and RSS feeds. JDLand takes no responsibility for errors, omissions, etc. (read CapStat disclaimer). Data is retrieved daily.

Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
200 B/O VIRGINIA AVE SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT /  07/10/14
900 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/10/14
100 B/O M ST SE   THEFT /  07/09/14
4TH ST SE AND L ST SE   ROBBERY /  07/08/14
800 B/O POTOMAC AVE SE   THEFT /  07/07/14
300 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/07/14
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT /  07/05/14
100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/04/14
1100 B/O 2ND PLACE SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/03/14
2ND PLACE SE AND I ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/02/14
70 B/O I ST SE   ROBBERY / GUN  07/02/14
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  07/02/14
400 B/O M ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT /  06/30/14
UNIT B/O M ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  06/30/14

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE    Pepco Holdings Inc 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/26/14
to
08/26/14
1331 2ND ST SE    Carlton Ray 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; excavation  
 02/10/14
to
02/09/15
804 3RD ST SE    Maximiliano Villagra 
Issued
streetfixture; new  
 08/05/14
to
08/06/14
904 3RD ST SE    Janel Fitzhugh 
Issued
streetfixture; new  
 07/01/14
to
08/14/14
908 3RD ST SE    Rachel Frankel 
Issued
streetfixture; new  
 07/24/14
to
09/21/14
1026 3RD ST SE    Wash Gas & Light Co. 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/26/14
to
09/04/14
1331 4TH ST SE    Forest City Forest City 
Issued
excavation; new  
 01/10/14
to
02/10/15
913 5TH ST SE    Wash Gas & Light Co. 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/26/14
to
08/28/14
1100 - 1199 BLOCK 1ST ST SE    tom cash 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/27/14
to
08/25/14
410 M ST SE    Pepco Holdings Inc 
Issued
excavation; new  
 07/11/14
to
09/08/14
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE    Pepco Holdings Inc 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/20/14
to
08/22/14
880 NEW JERSEY AVE SE    WASHINGTON GAS 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/17/14
to
08/17/14
    WASHINGTON GAS 
Issued
excavation; new  
 07/28/14
to
09/26/14
1105 NEW JERSEY AVE SE    Wash Gas & Light Co. 
Issued
excavation; new  
 06/13/14
to
08/11/14
301 TINGEY ST SE    Potbelly Sandwich Works LLC 
Issued
new  
 03/21/12
to
11/27/14

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1025 1ST ST SE   
07/26/14 
NA NA NA
EHOP1490737 / HOME OCCUPATION
1100 1ST ST SE   
07/15/14 
NA NA NA
EHOP1490710 / HOME OCCUPATION
1265 1ST ST SE   
07/29/14 
CAPITAL RIVERFRONT HOTEL LLC / JOHN HOMICK
E1407634 / SUPPLEMENTAL
921 4TH ST SE   
07/29/14 
RICHARD AND MARGIT TRACEY / RICHARD AND MAR TRACEY
F1400538 / CONSTRUCTION
CUSTOM FABRICATED ORNAMENTAL IRON FENCE WITH GATE TO BE PAINTED BLACK INSTALLED PRIMED.
1212 4TH ST SE   
07/11/14 
FC 1212 LLC /
P1406926 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/14/14 
MIKE LENARD / BHAR; W. SAKIE BHAR
SG1400363 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL ONE SET OF BUILDING SIGN ON TO EXISTING BUILDING
1103 9TH ST SE   
07/25/14 
ICP PARTNERS POTOMAC 810 LLC / TALBERT DOWLING
E1407537 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1220 12TH ST SE   
07/16/14 
FAIRBANKS MORSE ENGINE / EVAN O'BRIEN/ D MCKEEVER SERVICES
B1409041 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR ALTERATION TO EXISTING 2578 SF OFFICE SPACE. AFFECTED AREA LESS THAN 1000 SF TO CREATE DEMISING WALL AND MINOR ALTERATIONS TO PARTITION PLAN IN CONFERENCE AREA. MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL WORK INCLUDED.
326 L ST SE   
07/17/14 
NA NA NA
EHOP1490715 / HOME OCCUPATION
55 M ST SE   
07/16/14 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / TYRAN D. BRANNUM
E1407255 / SUPPLEMENTAL
20 M ST SE   
07/17/14 
SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
TL1400132 / CONSTRUCTION
FIRST TIME TENANT BUILDOUT FOR FAST FOOD ESTABLISHMENT - SUBWAY SANDWICH SHOP SEATING 41 AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED ARCH. MECH. PLUMB. ELECT AND FIRE PROTECTION DWGS. INTERIOR WORK ONLY.
55 M ST SE   
07/15/14 
HINES
B1409693 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL 6 AUTOMATIC DOOR OPERATORS LOCATED AT THE ELEVATOR LOBBIES BETWEEN THE 4TH-7TH FLOORS
100 M ST SE   
07/29/14 
SQUARE 743 INC. / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
TL1400149 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR TENANT LAYOUT OF 4TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE. PARTITIONS MEP AND LIFE SAFETY. 3 283 OF OFFICE SPACE ON 4TH FLOOR ONLY. NORTHWOOD SPEC SUITE
901 M ST SE   
07/15/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1400584 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
1201 M ST SE   
07/15/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1400585 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
07/14/14 
NEW JERSEY AT H LLC / COLIN CLARK
B1409654 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO PERMIT #SH1400039 FOR A OWNERSHIP CHANGE
   
07/28/14 
WC SMITH CO. / COLIN CLARK
FD1400040 / CONSTRUCTION
FOOTINGS AND FOUNDATIONS TO GRADE FOR A FUTURE APARTMENT BUILDING
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
07/11/14 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / RICHARD G. FINFROCK
P1406902 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/11/14 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / BRANDON K VIERNES
M1402531 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/22/14 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / DONALD R. MCGLYNN
E1407426 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/29/14 
JENNIFER MAY /
B1410235 / CONSTRUCTION
REPLACE EXISTING KITCHEN CABINETS WITH NEW CABINETS. CREATE A HALF WALL ON A NON LOAD BARING WALL. NEW LIGHTING.
   
07/29/14 
KOROUSH CHARKHABI
PC79044251 / POST CARD
REPLACEMENT OF NOT MORE THAN 1 PLUMBING FIXTURE ON A RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PROJECT.
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
07/29/14 
FLORIDA ROCK PROPERTIES INC / MITCH A. PERMUY
E1407629 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1236 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
07/11/14 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL LLC / GEOCAPITOL ENGINEERING LLC
SB1400340 / CONSTRUCTION
WE PROPOSE DRILLING THREE SIX-INCH DIAMETER GEOTECHNICAL TEST BORINGS USING THE HOLLOW STEM AUGER METHOD TO EVALUATE THE SUBSURFACE CONDITIONS. THE PROPOSED TEST BORING DEPTHS WILL BE 80 FEET BELOW THE EXISTING GROUND SURFACE. DRILLING EQUIPMENT WILL BE DECONTAMINATED BETWEEN EACH HOLE TO AVOID CROSS CONTAMINATION THROUGHOUT THE SITE. UPON COMPLETION THE GEOTECHNICAL TEST BORINGS WILL BE BACKFILLE...
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
07/11/14 
1244 SOUTH CAPITOL RESIDENTIAL LLC / GEOCAPITOL ENGINEERING LLC
SB1400341 / CONSTRUCTION
WE PROPOSE DRILLING TWO SIX-INCH DIAMETER GEOTECHNICAL TEST BORINGS USING THE HOLLOW STEM AUGER METHOD TO EVALUATE THE SUBSURFACE CONDITIONS. THE PROPOSED TEST BORING DEPTHS WILL BE 80 FEET BELOW THE EXISTING GROUND SURFACE. DRILLING EQUIPMENT WILL BE DECONTAMINATED BETWEEN EACH HOLE TO AVOID CROSS CONTAMINATION THROUGHOUT THE SITE. UPON COMPLETION THE GEOTECHNICAL TEST BORINGS WILL BE BACKFILLED ...
300 TINGEY ST SE   
07/23/14 
CM-YARDS LLC / DWIGHT SMITH
B1408815 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL OUTSIDE SEATING SUMMER GARDEN.
201 TINGEY ST SE   
07/11/14 
JBG COMPANIES / GEORGE DELGADO
B1409541 / CONSTRUCTION
ONE DAY SPECIAL EVENT FOR BMW SHOW--150 OCCUPANTS EXTERNAL GENERATOR RESTROOMS AND LIGHTING BAY DOORS TO REMAIN OPEN DURING FUNCTION
   
07/22/14 
JBG/SEFC 170 LLC / MICHAEL B. BELL
E1407422 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
07/10/14 
FORREST CITY AT THE YARDS / CRIS FLACK
TL1400123 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO B1402734 FOR REVISIONS TO MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS.
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

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