Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

What you find when you aren’t looking-curiousities in photo research-“Old farm buildings”

Really the Six Buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Really the Six Buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue NW

[click on picture above to enlarge] “Old Farm Buildings” – oops – not really. This is the Six Buildings in the 2100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Yes, a 7th building was added later, the one closest in the image.)

[Note: there’s a correctly captioned (miscredited) copy too, derived from the original: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/96510386/

The State Department historiams have done an excellent job describing the history of the Six Buildings:

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/buildings/section21 because:

“After approximately three months in the overcrowded Treasury Department Building, the Department of State moved into one of a block of houses known as the “Six Buildings ” located on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue between Twenty-first and Twenty-second Streets Northwest. The exact building is not a matter of record. At the same time the Navy Department occupied another one of the Six Buildings; according to a biographer of the then Secretary of the Navy, this was building numbered 2107. The War Department occupied a three story house on the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue nearly opposite the Six Buildings until November 8, 1800, when the building, together with all the books and papers of the office of the Secretary of War, was destroyed by fire.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia has drawings (not online):


Library of Congress caption:

Title: Old farm buildings
Date Created/Published: [between 1918 and 1920]
Medium: 1 negative : glass ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-npcc-00162 (digital file from original)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-F8- 1848 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negatives or negative sleeves.
Date from negatives in same range.
A.E. Beitzell Oyster House at end of row houses.
Gift; Herbert A. French; 1947.
This glass negative might show streaks and other blemishes resulting from a natural deterioration in the original coatings.
Temp. note: Batch one.
Row houses.
Seafood stores.
Carts & wagons.
Glass negatives.
National Photo Company Collection
Part of: National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress)
Bookmark This Record:

Note: The “Seven Buildings” was an entirely separate row nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Don’t forget to check out Foggy Bottom and the West End in Vintage Images.

One comment on “What you find when you aren’t looking-curiousities in photo research-“Old farm buildings”

  1. dchistorystuff
    November 19, 2015

    Please note that this is the Six Buildings. The nearest of the row, the seventh, was added later, particularly evident in the different style of windows.

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