Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

What Once Was “Good order, good taste, and with due regard to public interests involved”: the origins of the Shipstead-Luce Act

What Once Was “Good order, good taste, and with due regard to public interests involved”: the origins of the Shipstead-Luce Act  By Matthew B. Gilmore*  On May 16, 1930 Congress … Continue reading

July 24, 2017 · Leave a comment

Past Planning for the Future: DC’s 1950 Comprehensive Plan …

… or, Planning Atomic-Age Washington PUBLISHED: APRIL 10TH, 2017 Click this to find our archive of What Once Was articles. Tip: Click any image in the article to view that … Continue reading

April 10, 2017 · Leave a comment

The City of Our Hopes and Desires: Zoning Comes to Washington DC

 By Matthew B. Gilmore For complete article click: http://intowner.com/2016/10/26/the-city-of-our-hopes-and-desires-zoning-comes-to-washington-dc/  It had a curious beginning. The tale begins with a bit of a mystery: The August 21, 1916 Evening Star reported that … Continue reading

October 31, 2016 · Leave a comment

Walking Tour – Foggy Bottom: Washington in Miniature

Date Saturday, October 15 2016 Time 2:00pm-4:00pm Location Foggy Bottom Metro Station entrance REGISTER: http://bit.ly/2dkGoVH Join AIA|DC and architectural historian Matthew Gilmore for an exploration of the little-known aspects of Foggy … Continue reading

October 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Kidwell’s gambit: One man’s gamble and the creation of Potomac Park

“Kidwell Meadows — riverfront views!,” contemporary advertisements might have read had John Kidwell’s bold real estate gambit succeeded. His attempt failed but the federal government’s long legal efforts to quash … Continue reading

September 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

New Yorkers Transform How Washingtonians Live: Washington’s 19th Century Apartment Revolution

By Matthew B. Gilmore* In May of 1880 Congressman Fernando Wood, former mayor of New York City, applied for a permit to build “French flats” at 1418 I Street , … Continue reading

August 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

Petworth that never was: curious case of the missing plat

Matthew B. Gilmore, April 2016 Property subdivision related to development rarely generates much controversy. The case of Petworth is an exception–an interesting curiosity in the development of the District of … Continue reading

April 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

“High-handed usurpation and outrage”: The End of Washington City Canal

Benjamin Severson was incensed. The work he’d devoted so much time and energy into had been undone. Despite many critics, Severson, a civil engineer and foreman under Montgomery Meigs for … Continue reading

March 22, 2016 · 4 Comments

Slide deck: Coming to Washington – 1800 – Humanitini 1 – 2016

January 7, 2016 Humanitini: DC’s Tapestry of Regional Cultures Busboys and Poets – Brookland Since its founding, Washington, DC has reflected the regional cultures brought to the city by waves … Continue reading

January 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

Reading and Signing: Washington: A History of our National City by Tom Lewis Dec 2, 2015 7 pm

A History of our National City by Tom Lewis Dec 2nd, 2015  7pm Upshur Street Books (just a few blocks north of Petworth Metro station!) Creative Nonfiction Reading Event Date … Continue reading

November 29, 2015 · Leave a comment