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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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Comments

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  
900 B/O POTOMAC AVE SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 08/17/15
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 08/17/15
UNIT B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 08/16/15
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
 08/08/15
UNIT B/O I ST SE   BURGLARY
 08/07/15
300 B/O WATER ST SE   THEFT
 08/05/15
UNIT B/O I ST SE   THEFT
 08/04/15
50 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
 08/04/15

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1265 1ST ST SE   
08/26/15 
CAPITAL RIVERFRONT HOTEL LLC /
P1508561 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1277 1ST ST SE   
08/21/15 
BALLPARK RESIDENTIAL LLC BALLPARK RESIDENTIAL LLC / CLINT HOLMES; BALLPARK RESIDE BALLPARK RESIDENTIAL LLC; MITCH PERMUY
E20139177 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1331 2ND ST SE   
09/01/15 
DC WATER DC WATER / CORMAN CONSTUCTION
AH1500716 / CONSTRUCTION
TUNNEL BORING MACHINE / EQUIPMENT
1000 5TH ST SE   
08/18/15 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / JOSEPH M MAGNOLIA
P1508371 / SUPPLEMENTAL
909 HALF ST SE   
08/18/15 
BAKER DC
AH1500686 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 12:01AM WEDNESDAY THRU 11:59PM THURSDAY. 1-49 BLOCK OF K ST SE
   
08/21/15 
BAKER DC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500695 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS FROM 12:01AM THRU 11:59PM FROM 08 / 25 / 2015 TO 08 / 29 / 2015
1015 HALF ST SE   
08/17/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / ANTHONY G SAMBURG
E1508502 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/20/15 
WSP PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF / STEVE AUD; WSP PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF; STEVE AUD
E95740122 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/27/15 
HALF ST SE LLC /
P1508598 / SUPPLEMENTAL
601 L ST SE   
08/17/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / KRISSY GER LISA LJ PERMIT
B1510955 / CONSTRUCTION
REVISION TO B1101058 MINOR GRADING REVISION
   
08/20/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / MARK A DORSEY
EN1502944 / SHOP DRAWING
TYPE OF ELEVATOR ONE (1) HYDRO / STEEL / CENTRALLY / PASSENGER TO PROVIDE ACCESS BETWEEN G AND G2 FLOORS AS PER PLANS.
   
08/20/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / MARK A DORSEY
EN1502945 / SHOP DRAWING
TYPE OF ELEVATOR: TWO (2) TRACTION / STEEL / CENTRALLY / PASSENGER (5TH FLOOR).
   
08/20/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / MARK A DORSEY
EN1502970 / SHOP DRAWING
TYPE OF ELEVATOR ONE (1) TRACTION / STEEL / CENTRALLY / PASSENGER (6TH FLOOR).
   
08/20/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / MARK A DORSEY
EN1502971 / SHOP DRAWING
TYPE OF ELEVATOR ONE (1) TRACTION / STEEL / CENTRALLY / PASSENGER (6TH FLOOR).
80 M ST SE   
08/24/15 
COLUMBIA PROPERTY TRUST / KRISTINA DELGADO
B1510944 / CONSTRUCTION
PARTIAL 4TH FLOOR RENOVATIONS INCLUDING MECHANICAL PLUMBING ELECTRICAL AS WELL AS FURNITURE INSTALLATION.
20 M ST SE   
08/19/15 
SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC / ELEANOR FARID; SOUTHEAST REALTY LLC; RODNEY CANNON
E69278004 / SUPPLEMENTAL
50 M ST SE   
08/14/15 
KCG 50 M LLC / JOSEPH E RICHARDS
E1508432 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
08/21/15 
KCG 50 M LLC / DANIEL R. RUDE
P1508460 / SUPPLEMENTAL
55 M ST SE   
08/19/15 
DOUG OLSON / DOUG OLSON; NONE
SG1500414 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW SIGNS INSTALLATION AS PER PLANS
1500 M ST SE   
08/21/15 
WASHINGTON YACHT CLUB / ZACHARY ZILL
SB1500438 / CONSTRUCTION
SOIL BORING FOR COMPENSATION GROUTING ALONG THE ALIGNMENT OF DC WATER'S CLEAN RIVERS DIV H - ANACOSTIA RIVER TUNNEL. FORTEEN BORINGS TO MAX DEPTH OF 70 FEET BGS 2 INCH DIAMETER GROUT TUBES INSIDE 5.5 INCH DIA CASINGS. DUPLEX ROTARY DRILLING METHOD. REF. PERMIT SB1400400.
125 O ST SE   
08/28/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA /
R1500073 / CONSTRUCTION
WOOD SHED
   
08/28/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / SAMAHA ASSOC.PC
R1500072 / CONSTRUCTION
ONE STORY BRICK STORAGE SHED
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
08/14/15 
P1508259 / SUPPLEMENTAL
355 WATER ST SE   
08/14/15 
TIAN LUU / TIAN LUU; TIAN LUU; JAMES BORROR
E95497821 / SUPPLEMENTAL
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  
No commercial transaction records added or modified in the past two weeks.


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