DC Photos from the 1970s
December 3, 2005 9:47 PM   Subscribe

Photoset: DC in the 1970s. Washingtonians, take a look. Some things haven't changed at all, other things are subtly different, still other things are no longer there.
posted by brownpau (16 comments total)
Thanks. As a somewhat recent Washingtonian, it was fun to see my city thirty years ago.
posted by Falconetti at 9:54 PM on December 3, 2005

posted by growabrain at 9:55 PM on December 3, 2005

Sorry, I forgot to credit my link source: via Tom Bridge at DC Metroblogging.
posted by brownpau at 10:17 PM on December 3, 2005

I was struck by all the fences and barriers around the Capitol when there on Labor. It's so tacky and thoughtless, to the point of making me embarrassed for the country and angry. I realize the need for protection, but . . .
posted by raysmj at 10:36 PM on December 3, 2005

I had not seen the Capitol in 12 years, for the record. And that was "Labor Day," or meant to be, not "Labor."
posted by raysmj at 10:41 PM on December 3, 2005

What a difference 28 years makes. Actually, according to those pictures, in DC, not much. And the commentary on the pedestrian mall that's no longer there, and how urban planners don't do it anymore, whoever said that hasn't been across the river to Arlington lately. All the highrises built there must include public spaces, so Rosslyn is littered with little parks and hidey holes like this. Maybe because the building managers maintain the parks instead of the city or gov't might be why they work, and that one didn't.
posted by crunchland at 3:21 AM on December 4, 2005

Very nice. I wish we could see more of the buildings adjacent to these landmarks for comparison.

My tally: Jersey barriers spreading like a virus, lovely corduroy banished, gas guzzlers have come full circle.
posted by itchylick at 4:27 AM on December 4, 2005

How apropos. I was born at DC General in 1977, so this nicely captures what the city looked like in the year of my birth. The monumental core of the city hasn't changed all that much, really, aside from the discouraging transformation of the central government buildings of our republic into unapproachable fortresses.

The inviting accessibility of the White House in the linked pictures seems so much more appropriate for a government of the people, by the people than the fences, jersey barriers, snipers, SAM launchers and antiaircraft guns of today.
posted by killdevil at 6:46 AM on December 4, 2005

This is neat. I had forgotten that a former place of employment looked a lot more magnificient before the Reagan building went up.
posted by bardic at 9:14 AM on December 4, 2005

I was born at DC General ...

Speaking of things in DC that no longer exist.
posted by terrapin at 9:14 AM on December 4, 2005

The 1970's were probably DCs glory days. National Security has ruined everything since then. And I was born in DC general as well.
posted by Suparnova at 2:07 PM on December 4, 2005

I was born in Baltimore general. But by 1978 I was a Washingtonian.

If I stay away from Washington any longer I'll never be able to afford to move back. :(
posted by bugmuncher at 4:37 PM on December 4, 2005

bugmuncher --I'm afraid it's too late already. I grew up in DC in the 70s and 80s and just went back to visit my folks in the VA suburbs. I strolled around Georgetown and Dupont Circle and saw a cute old rowhouse for sale and thought, "Ah, I would love to move back here.. " It didn't have a price on it, so I went home to check it out on the internet: $6 million.
Oh well.
posted by j at 8:16 PM on December 4, 2005

nice post
posted by exogenous at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2005

Hey, the MLK library is still there. I used to work over there a few years ago and I'd sometimes go over on my lunch break. Sure, it smelled like urine outside and in, but it was still there.
posted by etoile at 12:01 PM on December 5, 2005

A great set of photos. I remember the slightly less crowded DC from these pictures, the one of the Old Post Office is striking. I agree that National Security has just completely done in the architecture of DC. Closing Pennsylvania Ave was one of the worst offenses against sense and beauty that I've ever seen.
posted by OmieWise at 6:19 AM on December 6, 2005

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