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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  
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
 11/21/14
900 B/O 5TH ST SE   BURGLARY
 11/21/14
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
 11/21/14
1200 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
 11/20/14
900 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 11/17/14
700 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
 11/16/14
300 B/O I ST SE   ASSAULT W/DANGEROUS WEAPON
 11/15/14
4TH & TINGEY ST SE   THEFT
 11/13/14
UNIT B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 11/12/14
100 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
 11/10/14
200 B/O VIRGINIA AVE SE   ROBBERY
 11/09/14
900 B/O M ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 11/09/14
9TH & L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 11/07/14
11TH & M ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 11/07/14
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 11/07/14
1000 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 11/07/14
50 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
 11/05/14
400 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 11/03/14
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 10/29/14
3RD & L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 10/28/14
900 B/O M ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 10/25/14

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
1331 2ND ST SE    Carlton Ray 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; excavation  
 02/10/14
to
02/09/15
1331 4TH ST SE    Forest City Forest City 
Issued
excavation; new  
 01/10/14
to
02/10/15
301 TINGEY ST SE    Potbelly Sandwich Works LLC 
Issued
new  
 03/21/12
to
11/27/14

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1277 1ST ST SE   
11/21/14 
BALLPARK SQUARE LLC A DELAWARE LLC / DENNIS CONSULTING
SH1400051 / CONSTRUCTION
EROSION & SEDIMENT CONTROL SITE PERIMETER CONTROL EXCAVATION SHEETING & SHORING AND ASSOCIATED UTILITIES.
1331 2ND ST SE   
11/13/14 
DC WATER
SB1400419 / CONSTRUCTION
TYPE OF WELL(S):OBSERVATION WELLS INCLINOMETERS VW PIEZOMETERS AND EXTENSOMETERS FOR UPGRADE OF DC WATER CLEAN RIVERS PROJECT DIVISION I. NUMBER OF WELL(S):112. DEPTH OF WELL(S):UP TO 60 FT. DIAMETER OF WELL(S): 6". DRILLING METHOD: CASED AND HSA. PLEASE SEE THE ATTACHED WORKPLAN.
1331 4TH ST SE   
11/04/14 
CLARK CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION
AH1500069 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTERHOURS TO POUR CONCRETE FROM SUNDAY TO SATURDAY FROM 11 / 1 / 2014 TO 1 / 31 / 2015FROM 7PM TO 7AM
332 K ST SE   
11/04/14 
KRISTIN L HENRIKSON / ASTRUM SOLAR
B1412602 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL SOLAR PANELS ON ROOF 3.25 KW SYSTEM 13 PANELS
   
11/10/14 
KRISTIN L HENRIKSON / JOHN A. TETI
E1501053 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
11/12/14 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / RONNIE E WRIGHT
E1501089 / SUPPLEMENTAL
20 M ST SE   
11/21/14 
SOUTH EAST REALTY LLC SOUTH EAST REALTY LLC / ADOLPHUS SIMMONS; SOUTH EAST REAL SOUTH EAST REALTY LLC; ADOLPHUS SIMMONS
P92093458 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
11/21/14 
VEIC EXPANSION / DAVID RAINE; VEIC EXPANSION; DAVID RAINE
P77248641 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/22/14 
NICHOLAS DODD / NICHOLAS DODD; NICHOLAS DODD; NICHOLAS DODD
E45845237 / SUPPLEMENTAL
901 M ST SE   
11/13/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1500084 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
1201 M ST SE   
11/13/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1500085 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
801 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
11/12/14 
GREYSTAR / JOHN MORIARTY AND ASSOC.
F1500068 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL A TEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION SITE FENCE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. FENCE TO BE 6' HIGH ON BLOCK SUPPORTS.
880 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
11/19/14 
880 NEW JERSEY AVENUE LLC / OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY
EN1500172 / SHOP DRAWING
TYPE OF ELEVATOR : ONE (1) TRACTION / CENTRAL / VERTICAL TRANSPOTATION
   
11/20/14 
BAKER DC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500122 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 12:01 AM THRU11:59 PM
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
11/10/14 
SQUARE 742 LLC / ELMUBARK E. ELNAHAS
E1501060 / SUPPLEMENTAL
125 O ST SE   
11/14/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / JOPATRIC AMERICODE
SB1400418 / CONSTRUCTION
EIGHT SOIL BORINGS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. FOREST CITY F1 BLOCK CINEMA BORINGS SHALL BE 10 INCH DIAMETER MUD ROTARY METHOD; 2 SHALL BE DRILLED TO A DEPTH OF 100 FEET AND 6 TO A DEPTH OF 60 FEET; IF THE CONFINING UNIT IS ENCOUNTERED DURING DRILLING THEN ADVANCEMENT OF THE AUGERS SHOULD BE HALTED AND THE PERMANENT OUTER CASING SHOULD BE SET INTO 10 FEET (IF THE CONFINING UNIT IS THINNER THAN 10FT OUTER...
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
11/10/14 
BARR CONCRETE
TC1500004 / CONSTRUCTION
TOWERCRANE FOR JOBSITE USE
921 POTOMAC AVE SE   
11/20/14 
PAUL A GHIOTTO / MURRAY LYONS
P1501384 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
11/04/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LIC FC BOILERMAKER LIC / DENNIS STUBBS; FC BOILERMAKER FC BOILERMAKER LIC; DENNIS STUBBS
P24303627 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/04/14 
CHRIS WING / SHANDI COBB; CHRIS WING; CHARLES CLYNES
AR65033933 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/05/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / DIXON
B1501249 / CONSTRUCTION
PLACE A REMOVABLE WOOD BURNING GRILL ON THE PATIO OF A SUMMER GARDEN
   
11/12/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / FRED LATIMORE
E1501087 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/22/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / GREGORY BIRCKHEAD; FC BOILERMAKER LLC; MICHAEL BELL
E55526822 / SUPPLEMENTAL
401 TINGEY ST SE   
11/20/14 
FOREST CITY / FVI 2020
SB1500055 / CONSTRUCTION
EXTENSION TO WORK IN REFERENCE WITH PERMIT SB1200282. SECOND EXTENSION FROM 10.25.14 TO 4.25.15
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;

Real Property Sales Archive  
CUSHING PL   09/11/14
$ 9,000,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
HALF ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
CUSHING PL   09/11/14
$ 9,000,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
HALF ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
MR BP RESIDENTIAL #1A LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
MR BP RESIDENTIAL #1A LLC
 


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