Robert Sivard

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Pennsylvania Avenue, 1872

The area between Pennsylvania Avenue and the C & O canal on what is now Constitution Avenue was called ‘Murder Bay’. Its unsavory reputation came about because of the rough, frontier character of its bars and rooming houses. The swampy nature of the ground, stagnant pools of water and generally unhealthy atmosphere contributed to its reputation as a less than ideal section of Federal City. It is shown as it appeared when the first electric poles were being erected. The street corners are now part of the Federal Triangle and occupied by the old and new Post Office building. The Washington Monument was finally completed and opened in October 1884, 40 years after the cornerstone was laid.

(Image size 20” x 20”)

Pennsylania Avenue and 12th Street, Washington DC, 1872