Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

Washington’s Lime Kilns: Creating the stuff of building

BY: Matthew B. Gilmore

click for full article: http://intowner.com/2015/08/19/washingtons-lime-kilns-creating-the-stuff-of-building/

Tucked away in an obscure corner of Foggy Bottom is an odd sight — several curious stone walls and structures neatly embraced by the Whitehurst Freeway and Rock Creek Parkway ramps.

Godey Lime Kilns Ruins, July 1965. photo--Abbe Rowe for Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) HABS DC-441; courtesy Library of Congress.

These are the remnants of a flourishing 19th century construction materials industry. Building any city requires a variety of construction materials, as did Washington; much of it was imported, like Aquia sandstone and (later) Vermont marble. Some materials like limestone required transformation on site into materials — lime for mortar, quicklime for plaster and for whitewash.

Click: http://intowner.com/ for the current issue of the Intowner.

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