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Pennsylvania Avenue Plan

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Photograph of a model of buildings in the Pennsylvania Avenue area. It includes the National Gallery of Art, National Archives, Arts and Industries Building, Smithsonian Institution Building, National Museum of Natural History (with wings), on the Mall, and the Old Patent Office Building, now the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. This model was created before the existence of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and National Air and Space Museum.

Pennsylvania Avenue

National Museum of American History
Glass plate negative made by Walter J. Hussey, 1885-1910. Pennsylvania Avenue with trolly cars.

Northwest scene up the wide Pennsylvania Avenue, NW from 2nd Street, NW showing several horse-drawn streetcars and buggies, which were the common modes of transportation in Washington at the time. Taken in December 1889.

The collection in the Photographic History Collection consists of over two hundred glass plate negatives made by Walter J. Hussey (1865-1959). These glass plate negatives consist of daily life in and around Mount Pleasant, Ohio, Mr. Hussey's friends and family, studio portraits, his trips to the Washington, D.C. area, and Florida.

Pennsylvania Avenue with Trolly Cars

National Museum of American History
Glass plate negative made by Walter J. Hussey, 1885-1910. People walking on Pennsylvania Avenue.

View west from U.S. Capitol steps showing the Peace Monument in Peace Circle with the beginning of Pennsylvania Avenue behind the statue. Taken in December 1889.

The collection in the Photographic History Collection consists of over two hundred glass plate negatives made by Walter J. Hussey (1865-1959). These glass plate negatives consist of daily life in and around Mount Pleasant, Ohio, Mr. Hussey's friends and family, studio portraits, his trips to the Washington, D.C. area, and Florida.

One Hundred Years Ago, 5,000 Suffragettes Paraded Down Pennsylvania Avenue

Smithsonian Magazine

​One hundred years ago, as Washington, D.C. prepared for the March 4, 1913 inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, a group of women determined to march for their right to vote descended upon the city, prompting some to wonder what, exactly, they were on about.

Organized by leading suffrage activist Alice Paul (you might know her as the one who went on a hunger strike, only to be force-fed in the psychiatric ward of a Virgina prison), the parade and rally, staged on March 3, 1913, drew a crowd of more than 5,000 women (plus some 70 members of the National Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage, and a bunch of hecklers, and people in town for the inauguration). A breathless New York Times account of the parade published the next day set the scene:

Imagine a Broadway election night crowd, with half the shouting and all of the noise-making novelties lacking; imagine that crowd surging forward constantly, without proper police restraint, and one gains some idea of the conditions that existed along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the Treasure Department this afternoon. Ropes stretched to keep back the crowds were broken in many places and for most of the distance the marcerhs had to walk as best they could through a narrow lane of shouting spectators. It was necessary many times to call a halt while the mounted escort and the policemen pushed the crowd back.

In the allegory presented on the Treasury steps it saw a wonderful series of dramatic pictures. In the parade over 5,000 women passed down Pennsylvania Avenue. Some were riding, more were afoot. Floats throughout the procession illustrated the progress in the woman’s suffrage cause had made in the last seventy-five years. Scattered throughout the parade were the standards of nearly every State in the Union.

Despite their numbers and enthusiasm, the ladies and their supporters were not without adversaries:

The procession, it was charged, had not gone a block before it had to halt. Crowds, the women said, had gathered about one woman and her aids, and drunken men had attempted to climb upon the floats. Insults and jibes were shouted at women marchers, and for more than an hour confusion reigned.

Still, the event was considered a success by most who attended, save one famous figure:

Miss Helen Keller, the noted deaf and blind girl, was so exhausted and unnerved by her experience in attempting to reach a grand stand, where she was to have been a guest of honor, that she was unable to speak later at Continental Hall.

More from

Document Deep Dive: A Historic Moment in the Fight for Women’s Voting Rights
Suffragette City: The March That Made and Changed History in DC Turns 100
Seven Ways to Celebrate Women’s History Month
Equal Say: A Photographic History of How Women Won the Vote

View from Pennsylvania Avenue [art work] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Black-and-white study print (11x14).

Orig. negative: 11x14, Nitrate, BW.

copy 1 negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.

Eggers and Higgins.

Smithsonian Institution Building from Pennsylvania Ave, 1874

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Looking south from the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street, the silhouette of the Smithsonian Institution Building is seen in the distance. The photograph, taken by William Henry Holmes and signed "W.H.H. Phot.," shows horse-drawn carriages along the avenue of storefronts. Above the first building to the right of 11th Street, the sign reads "Latimer & Cleary Auction and Commission Merchants", the next building has a sign "Star Buildings," and the third building "Metropolitan."

Tire Store

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Washington--President's House

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Architectural History of the Renwick Gallery of Art, 1859

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Ewing, H., & Ballard, A. (2009). A guide to Smithsonian architecture. Washington: Smithsonian Books.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art was constructed as a private building to house wealthy banker William Wilson Corcoran's extensive personal art collection. Principal architect was James Renwick, Jr., who got his inspiration for the building during a trip to France. The building was designed in the rare Second Empire architectural style, named for the architectural style made popular during the height of the Napoleonic Empire in France (1852-1872).

At the start of the Civil War in 1861, when the building was near its completion, it was taken over by the Union Army and utilized for office space. Corcoran, a Southern sympathizer, had spent the war years in France. Upon his return, he found that he was unable to reclaim his property. In 1869, Congress agreed to allow Corcoran to open the museum as a public art gallery. The gallery opened in 1874. Eventually the collection outgrew the building and was moved to a new location. In 1901 Corcoran sold the building to the federal government who used it to house the U.S. Court of Claims. This office was ill suited for the historic building, and extensive damage was caused. Thanks in part to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's Pennsylvania Avenue restoration project, the building was finally transferred to the Smithsonian in 1965, and after an extensive renovation was reopened to the public as the Renwick Gallery in 1973.

The Second Empire style building was designed with a steep mansard roof, highly decorated surfaces, paired columns, and extravagant embellishments. carved medallions with the initials WWC engraved in them, and second floor pilasters burnish the exterior of this grand building.

Lloyd Herman, the gallery's first director, wanted people to really appreciate the architecture. According to Herman, "The building really is our biggest exhibit."

Another major renovation is currently under way at the Renwick Gallery. The museum is expected to reopen on November 13, 2015.

Union Avenue

National Museum of American History

Ruined Brewery on Girard Avenue

National Museum of American History
Were it not identified as a brewery on Girard Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the building in this unsigned 1879 watercolor and pencil study could easily be mistaken for one of Stephen Ferris’s Moorish subjects from his trip to southern Spain in 1881. There are two more watercolor studies of the brewery; see: GA*14546 and GA*14547.

Ruined Brewery, Girard Avenue

National Museum of American History
The signed and dated watercolor of a Philadelphia brewery was made eight years after an earlier dated view in the Ferris Collection. No doubt Ferris was returning to a favorite subject. See GA*14546 and GA*14540.

Smithsonian Institution Building and The Mall, 1855

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
The original negative number is 18603. The original photograph was re-scanned and given new negative and digital file numbers. For the house at the corner of 15th Street, NW and Pennsylvania Avenue, see James M. Goode's "Capital Losses: A Cultural History of Washington's Destroyed Buildings," pages 142-143. See also Douglas Evelyn and Paul Dickson's "Pinpoint the Past in Washington, D.C.," page 45.

The Smithsonian Institution Building (SIB) seen from downtown Washington, D.C., from across The Mall, around 1855. In the foreground are construction materials along 15th Street, NW for the new wing added in 1855 to the Treasury Building. The Treasury building is the oldest departmental building in Washington, D.C.having been completed in 1842 and expanded three times by 1869. Residential and commercial buildings in the foreground are between 15th and 14th Streets, NW. This area was also known in the 1860s as the red light district called Murder Bay. The canal bordering the Mall before being converted to form Constitution Avenue is the sliver at right center. The white residence at the far left is at the corner of 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

Carex frankii Kunth

NMNH - Botany Dept.

Podophyllum peltatum L.

NMNH - Botany Dept.

Carex lupulina Muhl. ex Willd.

NMNH - Botany Dept.

Carex lupulina Muhl. ex Willd.

NMNH - Botany Dept.

Sphyrapicus varius

NMNH - Vertebrate Zoology - Birds Division

Acer pseudoplatanus L.

NMNH - Botany Dept.

Tamias striatus fisheri

NMNH - Vertebrate Zoology - Mammals Division

Engine House, Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Description from "Bulletin of the United States National Museum, No. 42: A Preliminary Descriptive Catalogue of the Systematic Collections in Economic Geology and Metallurgy in the United States National Museum," page 226.

Collected for curator of metallurgy and economic geology Frederic P. Dewey by assistant James Templeman Brown as part of Dewey's "Plan to illustrate the mineral resources of the United States, and their utilization, at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial of 1884-85, at New Orleans."

Interior of engine house, showing the deep shaft hoisting engine, cable and drum. The most complete hoisting apparatus in the anthracite coal districts. Deep shaft colliery, Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
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