In addition, many of the books listed on our Bibliography page offer excellent historic photos, maps and documents relevant to the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Check also the extensive photo collections at the Historical Society of Washington, DC and the Washingtonian division of the DC Public Library.
Lorraine Reid was a young wife in 1947, new to Washington and tasked with finding a larger apartment for herself and her graduate student husband. With so few apartments to be had in the crowded post-war city, she wandered at length and used the opportunity to photograph buildings she came upon, many of them near the U.S. Capitol but in such dilapidated condition that politicians bemoaned their existence adjacent to the center of power. When Mrs. Reid downsized in 2013 and moved to Findlay, OH, she searched for a good home for her images. The Overbeck Project is grateful to be the recipient of her generosity. We also thank Nancy Freeman for scanning these images.
None of the dwellings Mrs. Reid photographed in 1947 exists today, but we’ve researched the addresses she provided and have identified each location and what is located there now. Please contact us to offer additional information about a scene or an alternative suggestion about the current use of the site.
The late John Alexander, a Washington attorney, lived at 217 Third Street SE from the early 1960s until about 1995. According to his daughter Michele Alexander, he absolutely loved the townhouse and the neighborhood, especially The Hawk & Dove, the bookstore and the restaurant next door, the cleaners, the drug store on the corner, etc.
In 1967, John purchased this original drawing of the corner of Third and Pennsylvania Avenue SE from Elizabeth Beer, staff artist for the Capitol Hill Spectator newspaper, after seeing the drawing in the paper's Sept. 14, 1967 edition. When Michele inherited the drawing from her father, she searched for an appropriate home for it and discovered the Overbeck Project. We are delighted to have her donation, and we've had it scanned (thank you, Nancy Freeman!). We're sharing it here because we think you'll enjoy seeing this lively, cheerful scene of one corner of our neighborhood as it looked over 50 years ago.