Map of the Week Vol. 11 – Washington, the beautiful capital of the nation 1922

Click map to enlarge. Source: Library of Congress

Map of the Week is written by David A., a systems librarian and map geek living in Mt. Pleasant. David previously wrote about Development of the area west and east of the Capitol – 1941.

This bird’s eye view drawing of Washington, DC from 1922 was among the most detailed city drawings of its kind when it was created, according to the publisher’s hyperbolic caption:

“This Aero View of Washington is the most remarkable map picture that has ever been made. Remarkable for its great range of vision and the stupendous task in making such a drawing and the extreme accuracy in the architectural ‘lay-out’.”

Zoom in to see some of the really impressive details that took two years for the artist to draw. Many of the buildings have labels describing them. Two monolithic buildings housing the War Department and Navy Department occupied the land south of Constitution Avenue and east of the Lincoln Memorial. Another notable difference between this map and that of the present day is the large number of trees on the Mall and surrounding it. It’s hard to say whether these trees stood exactly where the artist put them or whether they were artistic flourishes to fill space. A few of the buildings around the Mall have also changed hands or disappeared since 1922 (Bureau of Fisheries, Center Market, Medical Museum). See if you can spot the Piggly Wiggly building in present-day NoMa.

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