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Lost Washington, D.C.

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Washington seems the eternal and unchanging Federal City with its grand avenues and stately monuments. Yet the city that locals once knew lavish window displays at Woodies, supper at the grand Raleigh Hotel and a Friday night game at Griffith Stadium is gone. Author John DeFerrari investigates the bygone institutions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with an engagi ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published October 20th 2011 by History Press (SC)
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be warned, you'll want a map, maybe Google Street view, and most likely: a day to wander the city after or while you read this book. lots of little nuggets in here, divvied up in small digestible pieces. mostly it's about places that no longer exist, either due to redevelopment or deterioration: the theaters and burlesque houses of 7th Street NW, the Central Market, hotels along 14th or the original baseball stadium up in Howard. that much is a little sad, but there are a few landmarks that supp ...more
A fun, quick read about all that has changed in my adopted city. It made me want to get on my bicycle and scout out the remnants of all these old buildings and facades.

This book is obviously the product of a good deal of research and investigation in a variety of source material. It is a great source for factual information and would have been even more valuable if the author had decided to add more analysis and comparisons with what happened in other cities in the US.
Vignette-length stories (3-5 pages) of built D.C. either lost, like the Raleigh Hotel, or merely transformed, as in the case of the Childs restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. or the Chevy Chase Ice Palace. Not a guidebook, exactly, compared to the other books on my shelf, but reading it will give the visitor a sense of the city's undertones.

By all means visit DeFerrari's blog for more stories.
Places in Washington DC which no longer exist. Growing up and near the District, I was happy to read of places I remembered and find out their history and what had happened to them.
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John DeFerrari was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and has a passion for local history. Trained as a writer, he has a Master's Degree in English Literature from Harvard University. In 2009, after admiring Washington's beautiful buildings and public spaces for many years, DeFerrari began writing about them in his blog, Streets of Washington . His first book, Lost Washington, D.C., was publishe ...more
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