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  • Josh

    Very cool. My former house was built in 1883.

    • Petworther

      FYI you can use this info to pull the permit from the washingtoniania room at the mlk library. The permits are on microfiche. The librarians will help you if you’re not familiar with the machines.

      • MapmakerMapmaker

        You can/should go to “Wash” in any case, tell the librarian you are interested in the history of your house, and off you go into Research World.

  • skj84

    This is neat! My current house is not as old as I thought. Permit in 1939.

  • Ally

    This is so cool. We’re 1888!

  • wdc

    My house is an honest-to-goodness Wardman. :)

    • madmonk28

      I wonder how many people claiming to live in a Wardman designed house are going to be disappointed.

  • jaybird

    1300 block of Corcoran St. 1872.

  • anonymous

    Wow is this accurate? It shows my two homes few doors from each other with permit dates 11 years difference and about a 2500 spread between permit numbers. Well now that I check- Zillow shows the same. Figured being the homes are so close that they’d be built same period.

    • MapmakerMapmaker

      On July 2, 1928, the District began issuing unique permit numbers. Prior to that, permit numbers started at 1 every July 1. This was done to confuse future researchers. Anyway, the difference between the permit numbers in question might be like subtracting apples from oranges.

      Development didn’t happen in such an obviously orderly way. My work is intended to eventually help answer the who, what, when, where and why regarding the development of the city (sorry, no “how” here), and to make the relevant information, such as subdivisions and streetcar lines, available in one place for everybody to know and analyze.

      Zillow must use the year value in the tax records. That value is kind of accurate-ish going back to maybe the 1920s or teens when they first recorded the initial taxable date in real time. The year in the tax records is consistently nonsensical prior to that. That is, if tax records say your house was built in 1903 then your house may have been built AROUND 1903 or might be (much) older.

  • d

    Very interesting. Apparently the original owner of my house who had it built in 1901 was once president of the DC Bar Association and an advocate for sterilization of the mentally ill.

    • HoyaParanoia

      all the cool kids were eugenicists back then!

  • curious

    How does one access it? It is asking me to sign in.

  • phl2dc

    It’s asking me to sign in… How is everyone else able to view anything?

    • MR

      Same for me. I’m required to sign in before I can use the map.

  • MM

    Has this been made private, or am I just being slow and missing something? I am being asked to log in with an existing account when clicking! :(

  • Collin

    It looks like it is removed/made private. No one can access as of 10am it appears.

    • Truxton Thomas

      Yes, I had access to it a little before 9 a.m., and now it requires a login. Glad I copied/pasted the info on my house. It was cool while it lasted.

  • anon

    This is absolutely fascinating and explains the slight (and sometimes major) differences between the blocks of row houses in 16th Street Heights and Crestwood. And it finally explains why my house looks like the ones around the corner and unlike any on my block.

    Oddly, it shows the permit being issued two years AFTER all other sources say it was built. Head scratch.

  • Kate

    I can’t seem to access the map — it’s requiring either a JMT or ArcGIS account. Anyone else having this problem?

  • kittycatbob

    I created an ArcGIS account but I still can’t log in to see the map.

  • Andy

    account login lameness as well. well, I just missed something cool.

  • Maddy’s Mom

    Did anybody get information on who was developing this map before it was taken down? When I briefly looked at it last night, it had the DC HPO logo on it and said it was funded in part with a grant from HPO, but I didn’t see any information about an author or project site. It would be VERY USEFUL to be able to keep in touch with the project even if it isn’t available for prime time yet. Does @crin know? Any other leads?

  • HaileUnlikely

    Oddly, my house, and those built by the same builder at about the same time (mid- to late-1970’s) on my street and a couple blocks in each direction all say “no information available.”

    • MapmakerMapmaker

      Yes, well, my work is not finished.

      DC is so filthy with smartypantses (please post thoughts on pluralizing “smartypants”) that I hope we can integrate a crowd-sourcing function into the online map, with vetting of new data. Information that you have on your house might otherwise be difficult for me to come by!

  • jk

    Spam? It’s behind a paywall?

  • MapmakerMapmaker

    Sorry folks, we are not quite ready for primetime and this was not planned or authorized. Oopsie!

    This interactive online map will be greatly enhanced over the coming weeks, months and years and we hope to make it publicly available sooner than later.

    • PCC

      Thanks for checking back in here! Looking forward to it.

    • MR

      Thanks for the update. Any idea when the information will again be publicly available? Can you also tell us more about the project and who is involved (e.g., DC government, etc.)?

    • textdoc

      Please let PoPville know when it’s back online for the public!

    • MapmakerMapmaker, could you possibly email me at staff at clevelandparkhistoricalsociety dot org so I can find out more about the project from you? Thx!

    • MapmakerMapmaker

      For your patience, interest, and forgiveness, Popville will be the collective first to know when we make this publicly available. I am going to try to make that happen in the next calendar year, but I work for a large corporate entity that has a contract with a government agency, so all I really have control of is the underlying data. Patience.

      Yes, that government agency is the city’s Historic Preservation Office (HPO), which deserves great credit for funding research into ALL of the buildings in the District. I don’t think there is a database with such breadth and depth of historical information on buildings in any other jurisdiction in the US. (Readers, please correct me here.) That would obviously make the folks at HPO better informed than their colleagues elsewhere and better able to make appropriate decisions.

      For several years, my DC Historical Building Permits database has been available at the Washingtoniana Division at the MLK Library. That was funded by the National Park Service (they fund historic preservation) through the DC HPO. I’ll try to get over there to Wash soon and make sure they have the latest data!

      • Smingers

        Please try to convince your governmental overlords to release the map again. Even in its unfinished state if was tremendously interesting and valuable. This information wants to be out there, and the public wants access. The comments above are proof enough. What is the justification for keeping it hidden until it is deemed appropriately perfected?

      • This is going to be an amazing resource. Glad to know HPO is sponsoring it. Thanks for all your work!

  • Cheri

    MapmakerMapmaker: How can the map be private when it’s based on publicly available data, using public funds (HPO), and created for a public agency? This could be a tremendous public resource! Please provide access ASAP.


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