Petworth – “Fast Gaining in Popularity” since 1907

The Washington Times, 1907

Found this one in the archives while searching for my random recollections.  “Why Pay Rent? Only $2,375. $100 cash $20.00 per Month”  Someone made this very argument in one of this week’s rental of the day posts…

You can read the full article here.

17 Comment

  • That’s like $60K in today’s dollars!!! Or a 6% annual rate of return.

    • Which is why real estate tends to be a great investment, even with the occasional market crash.

      • Only if you plan to live for a 107+ years!

      • actually that return is right in line with buying stocks. in other words, real estate is not a magical investment. it is an investment with unusual characteristics, chief amongst them that you can live in your investment while you pay for it (assuming you don’t lard it up with home equity loans)

        • I agree with that @zartan–didn’t say it was a magical way to becoming super rich, but it does tend to be a great investment….even if you live less than 107 years.

  • This is great. Is there any way to get a better resolution version so you can read what they said in the top article?

    • They were so unnecessarily verbose back then. You convey more information to us in three sentences than this author tried to accomplish in an 1/8th page article.

      • People had more time on their hands, with no TV or internet or smart phones. Some daily newspapers actually published twice a day, morning & evening editions. And the mailman made his rounds twice a day, too.

        • I think I remember getting the NY Times twice a day as a kid…or something like that. I think it was called the “early edition” that they pulled together the night before and then the later edition was called, well, the “late edition” with news from the late night and early morning. I didn’t know about the postman twice a day, but I believe it. A simpler time.

  • I thought I knew this city pretty well, but where in Petworth are these houses located- Im guessing 14-16th st heights?

  • Lots of cool stuff online. We found the original 1911 real estate transaction listing ($7350) for our house via the library of congress online. this stuff is all OCR’d, so you can search for your address and see what pops up!

  • it says very clearly under one of the pics that it is “705 and 707 Randolph St” – which is across the street from the new Petworth Safeway

    • I think the person posting might have been asking about the location of the houses in the photo at the top, right under the headline “Petworth, Delightful Suburb…” — that’s what I was coming here to ask about.

      • I believe the homes pictured may be the 800 block of Varnum St NW – and I don’t think all of them are still standing. There were many more blocks of large wood duplex houses that were later torn down; I have a real estate map of Petworth from the 1950s and is shows large wooden duplexes where the Petworth playground is now at 8th & Taylor St NW (not sure when the playground first was build – it was renovated in 2006).

        • In the foreground is the 800 block of Taylor, looking north with Varnum Street in the background. Beyond that you can make out the diagonal of Kansas Avenue. This image compares perfectly with the 1907 Baist’s Real Estate Atlas. Many years after this photo was taken my great grandfather, Adlowe Morrison, bought 807 Taylor, the one across the street to the right of the gap, and lived there for a while when my mother was a child. Those houses on the north side of Taylor were removed for the recreation area.

  • i love these historical findings.

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