I’ve got a whole bunch of photocopies of DC alley related history, circa 1930-1940ish. All of it disorganized, which is my fault. Anyway, armed with my pre-20th century map of Shaw east of 9th St, with all the block squares numbered, I will search for alleys long gone.
Sq. 447- Freeman Place (N, O, 6th, 7th Sts NW)
Sq. 448- Madison Alley (M, N, 6th, 7th Sts NW)- Mt Vernon Sq
Sq. 449- Congress Court (L, M, 6th, 7th Sts NW)- Mt Vernon Sq
Sq. 512- Kings Court (N, O, 4th & 5th Sts NW)
Sq. 514- Browns Court (M, NY Ave, 4th & 5th Sts NW)- Mt Vernon Sq.
On a photocopied list titled “Alleys to be studied for demolition since 1934” a few things pop out.-are mine
Sq. 1189 [Georgetown];Copper Shop Alley; House No. 3136 (31, Wis, Water, South NW)
Sq. 1205 [Georgetown]; Bank Street; House No. 1218-20 (33,34,M, Prospect NW)
Sq. 513 [MVSQ]; Ridge St. Court; House No. 440&438 (4,5,M,N NW)
Sq. 419 [Shaw]; Wynns Ct.; House No. 1711, 1709, & 1707 (7,8,R,S NW)
Sq. 367 [MVSQ]; Nailors Alley; House No. 1324-1326 1/2 (9,10,N,O NW)
Sq. 340 [?]; Durrs Court; House No. 1248 (10,11,M,N NW)
Sq. 302 [Shaw?]; Davis Court; House No. 2-5 (11,12,W, Fla)
Sq. 276 [Shaw]; Quaker Court; House No. 1210 (12,13,R, S NW)
Sq. 205 [Shaw]; Waverly Terrace; House No. 1922-26 (14,15,T,U NW)
11 thoughts on “The Lost Alleys of Shaw- and some other places”
i hate to ask you to do some more work, but could you put this all together on a google map and publish a link so we could see where these alleys are/were?
You can always ask, but I lack the skill to do that quickly enough to not be a bother.
I’d be happy to hand over the lists and someone else can do it.
do the lists state if these alleys ran east/west or north/south, if they were in the middle of the block or offset? i guess i could do it, but i’m lazy, and don’t mind having other people throw maps together for my benefit… 😉
Nope the lists don’t say.
As far as laziness goes, that makes two of us.
where do you look to dig up this stuff?
Next Anon comment gets nixed. Please inital your posts, give a false name, something!
To answer anon, archives and libraries. The lists are from the National Archives.
Sorry, I am the evil Anonymous. I did not see your posting policy, of course, until after I asked my question. Not smart. Just trying to figure out where to look to find out cool facts about my block of rowhouses (15th & Varnum NW).
Andy, I’d start with the Historical Society over on Mt. Vernon Sq, followed by the Washingtonia Division at the MLK Library downtown. The Library of Congress has pictures and maps. The National Archives has some pre-Home Rule DC government records. One fun thing to do is just plug in you address (and neighbor’s address) you never know what that might bring up. I did that and found records about my house buried in the finding aid of an archive at some local college that happened to be on-line. You could pay Kelsey Assoc. a couple of hundred and find out.
I just run into this stuff, purposely looking for exact addresses hasn’t yielded alot. My block never had an alley.
Thanks – I’ll see what I can find!
at least Durr and Waverly still partially exist.
CAVEAT EMPTOR — Paul Kelsey Williams may not be the historian you're looking for. The quote about the prior owner of my home seemed eerily familiar. It was an unreferenced verbatim quote from the prior owner's website. There were several grammatical errors in the report. Think I shelled out $600 — what a ripoff
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