Historical Roads and Buildings in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia

Have you ever wondered what the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area looked like from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century? Thanks to the Bureau of Public Roads role in documenting road constructions, highways, building structures, etc., you are in luck.

Record Group 30: Historical Photograph Files, 1896-1963 (30-N) contains photographs documenting these activities. Subjects include vehicles, traffic, highways structures, maps, tourist cabins and motels, car washes, shopping centers, bus terminals, and parking garages. The photographs selected for this post document buildings, bridges, streets, and highways in different areas of the DMV. Areas include Rock Creek Park, Anacostia, Pennsylvania Avenue, DuPont Circle (DC); Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Laurel, Silver Spring, Hyattsville, Rockville (MD); and Falls Church, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax (VA).

 Please note, if the caption on the mount does not list the specific date, the last two digits of the year taken are included as part of the numbering system for photographs after 1930.

Washington, DC



The photographs in this series have been digitized and made available via our online catalog. Some of the photographs are from commercial sources that may be under copyright. However, the selected ones for this post do not have any known copyright restrictions.

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