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Teaching DC Neighborhoods

What Is Foggy Bottom?

Foggy Bottom and the West End by Matthew B. Gilmore & Joshua Olsen. Charleston: The History Press, 2010. F202 .F64 G55 2010. 
This book recounts the history of Foggy Bottom and the West End. Foggy Bottom’s history includes private homes, industrial enterprises, and federal buildings. The book features many photos of the evolving neighborhood.

Where Is Foggy Bottom?

A complete set of surveys and plats of properties in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, 1887 - Plate 2. By G.M. Hopkins and Co. 1887. DIGDC. DC Public Library.
This plat book from 1887 includes a map of most of the region comprising the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. Plate 2 charts the buildings across the neighborhood, color-coding for the type of material that the building and pavement were constructed from. The placement of sewer lines, P.O. boxes, water mains, fire hydrants, and wells are also marked. The plat book also contains plates of many other D.C. neighborhoods.

The National Capital, Washington City, D.C. A. Sachse & Co. c. 1883. Map, 108 x 86 cm. Washington, DC: The Library of Congress. 75694904. 
This 19th-century perspective map shows the Potomac waterfront along the Foggy Bottom and Georgetown neighborhoods. The location of different buildings can be seen, as well as landmarks like the Washington Monument and White House.

Where Have People Lived And Worked In Foggy Bottom?

Burnes Cottage. DC History Center.
In 1772, the cottage, built in the mid-1700s just north of Tiber Creek, was inherited by farmer David Burnes who was also a Justice of the Peace for Prince Georges County, Maryland. His property, which extended from what is now Constitution Avenue to H Street NW, between 3rd and 18th Streets, became extremely valuable when the 1791 L'Enfant Plan was implemented for the "Federal City" in the new "District of Columbia" -- a ten-mile square on the Maryland and Virginia banks of the Potomac River. Burnes lived in the cottage, -- which had a sitting room and dining room on the first floor and two bedrooms on the second -- until his death in 1799. His only child and heiress, Marcia, later married John Van Ness who built the Van Ness Mansion a short distance to the northwest of the cottage. Marcia rented the cottage for a time, later converted one room to a chapel, before her death in 1832. The cottage remained on the site, deteriorating, until 1894 when a severe storm further damaged it, resulting in its demolition. DC History Center’s collection features several 19th century photographs of the cottage. Other collections hold items related to the building, such as this 1892 painting of the cottage and Washington Monument at the National Gallery of Art and this photo from the Library of Congress.
A Hilltop in Foggy Bottom: Home of the Old Naval Observatory and the Navy Medical Department by Jan K. Herman. DC History Center. P 6877.
This book recounts the history of the old Naval Observatory in Foggy Bottom. DC History Center’s collection includes photos and maps featuring the building, and many additional resources from other collections are available. For example, DC Historic Sites provides more background information on the building, including its 1965 designation as a National Historic Landmark. The Library of Congress hosts a variety of items related to the Observatory, including an engraving, photo, and the Matthew Fontaine Maury papers, who was a Superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory until he resigned to join the Confederacy. Additionally, GW students created a short (5:47) video about the history of the Observatory, while C-SPAN hosts a 30-minute video of a historical tour of the building led by Jan Herman. 

The Octagon House. DC History Center.
The Octagon House, located in Foggy Bottom, served as the Presidential Residence after the White House was damaged during the War of 1812. Collection includes a 1813-1817 Sketch of the Octagon House, United States Daughters of 1812 ephemera, Octagon ephemera, and many photos of the building. Additional information about the house and museum can be found through the Architects Foundation.

Water Gate Inn. DC History Center.
DC History Center hosts a small assortment of photos of the Water Gate Inn. Marjory Hendricks created this popular restaurant in the early 1940s, which was torn down in 1966 to make space for the construction of the Kennedy Center. William Woys Weaver describes the influence of Pennsylvania Dutch culture on the restaurant’s menu in his 2009 Gastronomica article “The Water Gate Inn: Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine Goes Mainstream” (available on JSTOR through DC Public Library). A menu from the restaurant is featured in the article, which can also be found in the digital collections of the Culinary Institute of America. Additional information about the Water Gate Inn is provided on John DeFerrari’s blog Streets of Washington.

Christian Heurich and His Son in Front of the Heurich Brewery. 1940-1945. DC History Center. CHS 01148.
Christian Heurich built his brewery in 1894, creating a landmark in Foggy Bottom that would last for seven decades. DC History Center hosts a variety of items related to the Brewery, including Heurich Brewery ephemera, a framed illustration of Heurich's 20th Street brewery, a photograph of the interior, a beer advertisement, and other items. The Library of Congress also hosts a few photos of the building. 

Van Ness House. DC History Center.
The John P. Van Ness House once sat on the block of 17th St NW and Constitution Ave.     Designed by Benjamin Latrobe, the house was completed in 1816 for John and Marcia Van Ness who was -- as the daughter of David Burnes -- probably the wealthiest woman in Washington. The Van Ness House was, in the early 1880s, the city's most elaborate and costly, having, e.g., a large reception room, a state dining room, a glassed-in conservatory, parlors with marble fireplaces and a winding staircase; it was also the first to have hot and cold running water throughout and (rare anywhere at the time) two bathrooms. John Van Ness later served as the elected mayor of the City of Washington from 1830 to 1834, and the first president of the Bank of the Metropolis (which later evolved into the Riggs Bank). Marcia Van Ness's non-social activities included support of the operation of the City Orphan Asylum (founded in 1815 with Dolley Madison and herself as directors). Both Marcia (who died in 1832) and John (1846) are buried in the Van Ness Mausoleum in Oak Hill Cemetery. With no direct descendants, the house was bought, as its structure declined, by a series of owners, eventually, in 1903 by Columbian College (later George Washington University) for use as part of its campus. The mansion was sold in 1907 to the government, soon demolished, to be replaced by the Pan American Union Building. However, the stables still stand. DC History Center hosts several photos and sketches of the property, as does the Library of Congress

Corcoran Gallery of Art. DC History Center.
DC History Center hosts an array of photographs of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. These include a photo from 1910-1915, a photo of the Old Corcoran Gallery of Art from 1927, and exterior and interior views of the gallery 1910-1919, as well as ephemera from 1907-2002. More information about the Corcoran, which was one of the earliest private museums in the United States, can be found on their website.

Grant School. DC History Center.
DC History Center has photographs and atlas excerpts featuring the Grant School. DC Historic Sites notes that the Grant School, originally named the Analostan School, is a Victorian-era school building that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. The Special Collections Research Center at George Washington University holds 2 scrapbooks from Grant School dating 1931-36, which include photographs, programs, and other materials.

Old Glass Works. DC History Center.
The southeast corner of Water and Twenty-Second Streets NW was once home to a glass works. DC History Center hosts a sketch of the building dating from 1850-1859 and a sketch of "Works and Part of Village" from the same period.

St. Mary’s Court Oral History Project - Never Too Old To Learn. Dig DC. DC Public Library.
This collection of oral history interviews residents of St. Mary’s Court, a senior living facility in Foggy Bottom. Taken in 1992-1993, the six interviews discuss personal memories and the evolution of life in DC.

Watergate Concert Barge. DC History Center.
DC History Center hosts a collection of materials concerning the Watergate Concert Barge. These outdoor musical events occurred from the 1930s until the 1960s. Related items in the DCHC collection include Musical Performances-Watergate Concerts ephemera, National Symphony Orchestra ephemera, and various photos. For more information about the floating concerts, see “Whatever Floats Your...Orchestra” from WETA’s Boundary Stones blog.

Columbia Hospital for Women. DC History Center.
Built in 1812 for his home by Tench Ringgold, this building was soon rented to others -- including Sir Charles Bagot in 1816 and Sir Frederick Bruce in 1865, each the British Minister to the United States. When the Columbia Hospital for Women took over the building in the early 1870s, it was called the Maynard Mansion, after a later owner, Dr. Edward Maynard, noted dentist and firearms inventor. In 1914, the structure, greatly modified, was destroyed -- to be replaced by the larger hospital that existed until 2002. DCHC’s collection includes a 1913 New Building for Columbia Hospital for Women pamphlet featuring floor plans for the hospital and many photographs of the building.

St. Stephen Martyr and the Foggy Bottom Community, 1867-1997. DC History Center. P 4136.
This 1997 pamphlet gives information about St. Stephen Martyr Church and the Foggy Bottom Community.

What Has Foggy Bottom Looked Like?

Plan of Proposed Funkstown. DC History Center. CHS 04746.
This map from 1790-1799 lays out the proposed plan for Funkstown.

Foggy Bottom-West End Historic Architecture Survey: Preliminary Survey: Report, Inventory of Historic Resources, Recommendations. Prepared for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A and the Foggy Bottom Association. DC History Center. P 4743. 
DC History Center’s collection hosts this 3-volume report from 1982 on Foggy Bottom’s historic architecture. This resource may help students to explore the history and architectural style of buildings in Foggy Bottom.

Washington at Home: an Illustrated History of Neighborhoods in the Nation's Capital. Edited by Kathryn Schneider Smith. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. F194 .W34 2010. 
This book is about the neighborhoods of Washington, DC. It includes a section on Foggy Bottom. Additionally, DC History Center hosts the Footnotes to Washington at Home (P 5545).

James Borchert Alley Life in Washington D.C. Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0005.
While researching for his Ph.D. dissertation, entitled "American Mini-Ghettoes: Alleys, Alley Dwellings and Alley Dwellers in Washington, D.C., 1850-1970,” James Borchert compiled 900 photographs and research notes. Some of these photos are of Snow’s Court in Foggy Bottom. Borchert later wrote Alley Life in Washington: Family, Community, Religion, and Folklife in the City, 1850-1970, which is available at DCPL. DC History Center hosts additional photos of alley dwellings in O'Brien Court and Snow’s Court.

J. Harry Shannon "The Rambler" Collection. DC History Center. SP 0059.
The Rambler Photograph Collection consists of approximately 1800 glass plate negatives, ca. 1900-1927, of Washington, D. C. and Maryland/Virginia vicinity houses, forts, businesses, schools, clubs, churches, creeks, groups, mills, monuments, roads, and families. The photographs were taken by J. Harry Shannon. "The Rambler" was Shannon's nom de plume for his articles in The Sunday Star from 1912 - 1927. Often these photographs of unusual or little-known sites or features accompanied the Rambler newspaper articles. Prints of the glass plate negatives have been made. DC History Center also hosts the original transcripts and notes for “The Rambler” column.

John Phillips Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0008. 
Consists of several hundred slides and transparencies of Washington's monuments and lesser tourist attractions and city streets taken for magazine covers, post cards, posters, and other publications by John Phillips around the 1970s. The collection covers historic buildings, memorials, street scenes, fireworks, the zoo, National Christmas Tree, and parks.

Wilda Martin Bailey Photograph Collection. DC History Center.
Consists of 58 images of Emergency Hospital, its personnel, and wards, 1920-1922, 12 images of Washington D.C. landmarks, ca. 1920, and Emergency Hospital training school graduation announcement, May 4, 1921. The hospital was located at New York Avenue and 18th Street, NW at the time. The hospital was merged into the Washington Hospital Center in 1953.

Thompson Lantern Slide Collection. DC History Center. SP 0083.
The Thompson Photograph Collection consists of 94 glass lantern slides. Subjects include aerial views of the city, public buildings, monuments, residences, churches, water department, and fires. Most are dated 1900 to 1925 but some are copies of nineteenth century pictures and maps.

Whetzel Aerial Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0001.
The Whetzel Associates Company took around 1200 aerial photographs of Washington D.C. in the 1950s. Several of these aerial photographs are of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. For an earlier (1938-1942) photograph collection, see SP 0002.

John P. Wymer Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0052.
John P. Wymer took thousands of photographs around Washington, D.C. between 1948 and 1952, including several of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. DC History Center has digitized their collection of Wymer’s photographs.

Joseph E. Bishop Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0004.
In the 1920s, Joseph E. Bishop photographed buildings around Washington D.C. The resulting 350 glass plate negatives and corresponding prints are now in the collection of DC History Center. Some of these prints are of buildings and streets in Foggy Bottom.

Zinnia "DC Changes" Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0075.
This collection includes 10,000 negatives, boxes of prints, postcards, and photo collage murals from 1984-1995. Several of these photographs feature images from around Foggy Bottom. Many images concern the construction and demolition of buildings.

Miriam E. Johnson Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0022.
This collection consists of 1685 35mm slides taken by Miriam E. Johnson from May 1949 to May 1987 of various Washington, D.C. scenes and events. Some of these images are from around Foggy Bottom.

Jack Dowling Brewer Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0176.
SP 0176 features more than 5,000 images created and donated by Jack Dowling Brewer. Jack Dowling Brewer (1922-2014) volunteered with the Historical Society for more than 35 years. During that time he cataloged 79,098 visual images, including the thousands that he personally created. Previously cataloged under the General Photograph Collection, these images were re-cataloged as the Jack Dowling Brewer photograph collection in 2018. Many of these images are of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

Emil A. Press Slide Collection. DC History Center. SP 0034.
The Emil A. Press Slide Collection, 1959-1979, consists of 4000 35mm color slides, taken by Press between 1959-1979. The images are mainly of Washington, D.C. south of Florida Avenue, but some outlying areas are included. Press often photographed buildings that were slated for, or in the process of demolition. The card index to the collection is arranged by both location and subject. Some of these images are of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

Bert Sheldon Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0007.
The Bert Sheldon Photograph Collection consists of over 500 black and white photographs, taken from 1946 through 1952. It is a documentary survey of places of worship in Washington, D.C. The collection includes images of churches of various denominations, synagogues, and related institutions, such as the Franciscan Monastery and the Salvation Army. Images include storefronts as well as more architecturally significant buildings, and some signboards and construction shots.

Zack Spratt Washington Scenes Photograph Collection, 1920-1960. DC History Center. SP 0040.
Consists of photographs of over 200 locations in Washington taken by Zack Spratt between 1920 and 1960. Although there are a few human interest type photographs, the focus is primarily on the buildings, monuments, and streets of Washington. Some of these photos are from the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. Additionally, DC History Center hosts the Zack Spratt Washington, D.C. Bridges Photograph Collection, 1920-1950

Reservations Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0035. 
Consists of 327 photographs taken by the National Park Service between 1926 and 1936, illustrating the small land areas originally "reserved" for use by the City of Washington.These photographs cover those Reservations whose jurisdiction was transferred in 1948 from the Park Service to the D.C. government. They were donated to the Columbia Historical Society in 1981.

Jeremiah J. Spaulding Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0039.
Consists of 2300 color photographs of Washington, D.C. street scenes and government buildings, taken by Jeremiah J. Spaulding between 1985 and 1992.

Kent Boese Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0131.
Digital images taken by Kent Boese of Shaw, Columbia Heights, Park View, Pleasant Plains, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Petworth, Fort Totten, Navy Yard, Judiciary Square, and Old Soldier's Home, circa 2009-2012.

Archibald Jewell Slide Collection. DC History Center. JW 001.
Consists of 277 35mm color slides taken in the Washington area by Archibald Dudleigh Jewell, 1950s-1960s.

Kiplinger Washington Collection. DC History Center. KC.
This collection consists of artwork, maps, prints, photographs, books, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to Washington, D.C. (considered Series I: Collections; search KC in the object ID field across all catalogs to see records for individual artworks and individually cataloged titles; search KCvf for pamphlets and published material arranged by subject). The collection also comprises curatorial files; correspondence; exhibit files; and other administrative files. These are considered Series II: Collection Records (search KCms).

The materials represent more than two centuries of the city's evolution, some predating L'Enfant's 1791 city plan. The collection includes iconic images of D.C. as well as the scenes of daily life in the city. Willard Kiplinger was particularly interested in the rapidly changing streetscape of the city and actively collected images of what he called "Vanishing Washington." He commissioned local artists such as Caroline Bean, Audrey Preissler Roll, Paul Hoffmaster, Theodore Hancock, Leo Hershfield, Helen Durston, Kingsley Gibson, and Lily Spandorf to create paintings, etchings, and drawings of local landmarks.

The collection also contains nearly 2,500 photographs from the Civil War to the present including mediums such as stereoviews, cartes de visite, and silver gelatin prints. They include photographers such as Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Underwood and Underwood, Volkmar Wentzel, James Meek, and Joseph Baylor Roberts. In the mid-twentieth-century William Barrett took hundreds of photographs documenting city blocks and buildings as part of the Vanishing Washington project.

What Was Life in Foggy Bottom Like?

Camp Fry, Washington, D.C. By Charles Magnus. 1865. DC History Center. 1981.001.132. MA 182.
During the American Civil War, Camp Fry held barracks and storehouses for the Union Army. In addition to this lithograph of the area, DC History Center hosts a photo of Union troops near Camp Fry. Furthermore, George Washington University is home to a colorized version of this lithograph with more information about the print. 

U.S. Tempo Buildings Photograph Collection. DC History Center. SP 0164. 
This collection was compiled by Jack Brewer from a variety of collections at DC History Center. This collection features materials related to temporary buildings built by the government during the World Wars. Many of these buildings were in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

A Foggy Bottom Family : An Early Twentieth Century Account. DC History Center. OHT 1983.G82 (MS 0893).
DC History Center’s collection contains a transcript of an oral interview with Nora Drew Gregory. Mrs. Gregory was an elementary school teacher for over 30 years. She passed away in 2011.

Arts in Foggy Bottom.
Arts in Foggy Bottom is an outdoor sculpture biennial found in the Foggy Bottom Historic District since 2007. The Arts in Foggy Bottom website includes photos of pieces from past exhibitions and information about each biennial’s featured artists. 

Jazz in DC. The Kennedy Center.
This digital resources page from the Kennedy Center describes the history of jazz in D.C. Part of the tour includes oral histories from Billy Taylor, who was the Kennedy Center's Artistic Director for Jazz. A collection of Billy Taylor’s papers can be found at the Library of Congress. For more information about the District’s Jazz history, please see Michael Fitzgerald’s Washington History article “Researching Washington Jazz History,” Maurice Jackson’s book DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, DC, and the DC Legendary Jazz Musicians, Inc. Ephemera Collection (E 1824) at DC History Center. Additionally, DC History Center’s collection includes photos and ephemera related to the Kennedy Center.

Borchert, James. Alley Life in Washington: Family, Community, Religion, and Folklife in the City, 1850-1970. By James Borchert. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980.
This book examines the lives of people who lived in DC alleys. In the 1890s, almost 20,000 people lived in alley dwellings, many of them Black migrants. Several of these dwellings existed in Foggy Bottom. The book includes photographs and maps of the area and dwellings.

Winter Evening, Foggy Bottom. By Robert Gates. 1936. Transparent and opaque watercolor on paper, 14 3/4 x 20 1/4 in.; 37.465 x 51.435 cm. The Phillips Collection.
This watercolor depicts Foggy Bottom on a winter evening. Cars and pedestrians move along the street. In the distance, smokestacks from factories can be seen emitting smoke. 

Snow’s Ct, NW. Life in The Alley.
This webpage was created by an 11th grade class. Students analyzed primary sources and went on an oral history walking tour to learn more about alley dwellings in DC, specifically in Snow’s Ct. Although some of the links on the page no longer function, teachers may find this resource useful to lead their students in a similar project.

African-American Discovery Trail : a Guide to Selected Sites in the Nation's Capital. Boy Scout Troop 98. DC History Center. P 1855.
This 1997 pamphlet focuses on Frederick Douglass, Mary McLeod Bethune, Oliver Otis Howard and Abraham Lincoln; and covers Anacostia, Capitol Hill, Downtown, Logan Circle, Shaw, U St., Ledroit Park, Howard University, Foggy Bottom, and Georgetown.

The Foggy Bottom Chronicle. Ellie Becker. DC History Center. P 4931. 
The DCHC Library has volume 2, no. 9 (May 2009) of the Foggy Bottom Chronicle. 

Foggy Bottom News. DC History Center. P 4740.
DC History Center has a collection of issues of Foggy Bottom News. Issues from years 1973 through 2004 are in Printed Materials Boxes 5OS and 6OS.

How Has Foggy Bottom Changed?

James M. Goode "Capital Losses" Slide Collection. DC History Center. SP 0051.
This Collection consists of about 700 35mm slides of lost Washington buildings that were illustrated in the 1979 edition of James Goode's book, Capital Losses: a Cultural History of Washington's Destroyed Buildings (NA735 .W3 G66). The slides are arranged by chapter, including one file of slides on architects. The Kiplinger Library also holds an inventory of the original book illustrations held by the Library of Congress. Additionally, the James M. Goode "Capital Losses" Research Collection (MS 0823) comprises original handwritten and typed research notes; correspondence; excerpts from published materials; the occasional copy photograph; and other documentation gathered in the course of researching and writing Capital Losses: A Cultural History of Washington's Destroyed Buildings (Smithsonian Books, NA735 .W3 G66). The bulk of the material relates to the second edition, published in 2003.
DCHC also hosts the James M. Goode Historic Houses Research Collection (MS 0800), a collection of original handwritten and typed research notes; correspondence; excerpts from published materials; the occasional copy photograph; copy slides of all images included in the book (separately cataloged as SP 0134); and other documentation gathered in the course of researching and writing a book on historic residential architecture, "Capital Houses: Historic Residences of Washington, DC and Its Environs, 1735-1965," published by Acanthus Press in fall 2015. Some of the materials in these various collections pertain to the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

D.C. Mondays: Hidden History of Foggy Bottom. GW Museum and Textile Museum. October 29, 2020. Vimeo. Video, 49:44.
In this video from the GW Museum and Textile Museum, D.C. tour guide Carolyn Crouch describes the hidden history of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. She describes the neighborhood as a microcosm for Washington, D.C., as it has a historic district, national and local institutions, and residences, industry, and arts. Crouch includes several historic maps and photographs to show the evolution of the neighborhood. She also notes the history of brewing in the neighborhood. 

Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall. DC History Center.
DC History Center’s collection hosts a vast assortment of photographs featuring Constitution Hall. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) opened the hall in 1929, and in 1985 it was designated ​​a National Historic Landmark Building. The National Museum of African American History and Culture notes that in 1939, the DAR prohibited Marian Anderson from performing at Constitution Hall because she was Black, leading to her famous performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Four years later, Anderson was allowed to perform at Constitution Hall before an integrated audience. In 2021, PBS’s American Experience released Voice of Freedom, a documentary about Anderson’s Lincoln Memorial performance.

Mapping Segregation DC. Prologue DC.
This site seeks to examine the role race played in shaping Washington, D.C. during the beginning of the twentieth century. The website hosts several interactive resources, including: From Restrictive Covenants to Racial Steering, a special exhibit on the fight for fair housing; Covenants Map, an interactive map tracing housing covenants 1940-1970; 11 different story maps, including ones on segregated schools, segregated playgrounds, segregated public housing, historic black communities, and displacement; a gallery of historic maps and real estate ads; and additional resources.

History Quest DC. Office of Historic Preservation.
History Quest’s GIS map outlines over 130,000 buildings across the District. Buildings are color coded by time period. A time-lapse of these buildings can be seen on History Quest’s DC by the Decades map.

The Living New Deal: Washington DC. The Living New Deal, The University of California, Berkeley.
The Living New Deal provides a compilation of digitally mapped geographic sites connected to the New Deal. In Washington D.C, there are multiple sites connected to Foggy Bottom, including O’Brien Court Houses and Parking Lot, Truman Federal Building (State Department), and St. Mary’s Court Apartments. Pages for these sites include a description of the project, a record of the agency responsible for the project, and source notes.

DC Public Library Digital Resources. DC Public Library.
DC Public Library’s archival collections and databases contain a vast array of resources related to Foggy Bottom. Materials on Dig DC include Maps from the Washingtoniana Map Collection, photos, the 1902 Report of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, and issues of newspapers like The Washington Blade. Databases such as Nineteenth Century Newspapers and JSTOR provide primary and secondary sources about life in Foggy Bottom. 

Voices: Celebrating the African American Legacy in Foggy Bottom. The George Washington University. February 29, 2012. Youtube. Video, 1:10:22.
This panel was hosted as part of an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of GW’s arrival in Foggy Bottom. It features Foggy Bottom residents David Riley, James Briscoe, Mary Brown, and Colby King. They reminisce about what it was like to grow up in Foggy Bottom and discuss the evolution of the neighborhood over time. 

How Has The History Of Foggy Bottom Been Preserved?

The Foggy Bottom History Project. Foggy Bottom Association.
The Foggy Bottom Association created a Foggy Bottom History Project to provide more information on the history of the neighborhood. Their website includes posts from the Funkstown blog, an oral history page, walking tours of the Foggy Bottom Historic District, and a short video about the historic district. There are individual house history files for more than 200 locations in the historic district, along with a map which combines individual House History pages for each building in the Foggy Bottom Historic District Study Area with a map whose layers show historic maps, census/city directory data, and other information focusing on the period from 1870 to 1910. There are plans to extend the map layers to include the period prior to 1870 and from 1911 to 1970. The site also hosts an extensive compilation of additional resources related to Foggy Bottom. 

Foggy Bottom Collection. Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University. 
The George Washington University hosts a variety of collections related to the history of Foggy Bottom. One of these collections reflects the 1996 exhibit entitled “Fantastic Foggy Bottom: The Growth of a Community." GW’s Gelman Library and the Foggy Bottom Association curated this exhibition for The George Washington University’s 175th anniversary. The collection includes photographs of the exhibit and related news clippings. GW’s Special Collections Research Center also hosts collections of Foggy Bottom Restoration Association records, Foggy Bottom Association Records, Special Collections Research Center oral history collection, and others. Their museum collection also holds a few photographs and pieces of art related to Foggy Bottom, while the GW Historical Resources site includes photos and a walking tour of the GW neighborhood. Additionally, DC History Center hosts a collection of George Washington University ephemera as well as GW Washington studies, which contains Suzanne Berry Sherwood’s “Foggy Bottom, 1800-1975 : a study in the uses of an urban neighborhood. An additional copy of Sherwood’s work can be found in the DCHC collection.

Foggy Bottom Association Records. Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University. MS2311.
The George Washington University hosts the records of the Foggy Bottom Association. Materials include architectural and historical studies, correspondence, reports, and memoranda. The majority of documents date 1980s-2000s, but some provide insight into earlier moments in the neighborhood’s history.

Final Report on the Status of Tasks Proposed in Foggy Bottom/West End Historic Preservation for Fiscal Year 1984 : Foggy Bottom Historic Preservation Grant Contract No. 3897 - 31. Steve Levy. 1984. DC History Center. P 7282.
Submitted to Mr. Ronald Lewis, State Historic Preservation Officer, Historic Preservation Grant-In-Aid Program, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 614 H Street NW, Room 305, Washington, DC 20001. 

Foggy Bottom Historic District. DC Historic Sites. DC Preservation League.
The Foggy Bottom Historic District encompasses surviving 19th-century rowhouses and other buildings. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 14, 1987. This website from DC Historic Sites features the historical background of the Foggy Bottom Historic District as well as photographs. Additionally, DC History Center has a Foggy Bottom Historic District Printed Materials Collection (P 3755) and the Foggy Bottom Historic District : National Register of Historic Places Registration Form.

Foggy Bottom Historic District Brochure. D.C. Historic Preservation Office.
This brochure from D.C. Historic Preservation Office provides information about the history of the Foggy Bottom Historic District. It notes that the historic district remains “significant for its association with Washington’s industrial history, its association with Washington’s German and Irish communities, and for the low-scale, modest brick rowhouses distinctively ornamented with pressed and molded brick details that characterize the area.” The brochure includes information about Foggy Bottom’s early development, including its role as the site of the Naval Observatory in the nineteenth century. In addition to a description of how the historic district has evolved, this brochure features several photos of Foggy Bottom over the years. 

Archaeology in DC Brochure. D.C. Historic Preservation Office, Office of Planning. 
This brochure from the D.C. Historic Preservation Office details archaeological efforts in the District of Columbia. One of the case studies is about Whitehurst Freeway. On the Foggy Bottom end of the freeway, artifacts were recovered from Peters House, a 19th century brewery, and Dyer Planing Mill. The report also mentions artifacts found that predate European colonization of the land. 

Quiz: Foggy Bottom History from an Afro-Centric perspective. Bernard Demczuk. c. 1999. DC History Center. P 5399.

Where Can I Find Out More?: Washington History Articles

“The Kennedy Center at 50.” Emily Niekrasz. Washington History 33, no. 2 (2021): 70–72.

“War of the Wards: Localism, Suffrage, and Equity in Washington City.” Todd Jones. Washington History 33, no. 2 (2021): 26–39.

“Unbuilt Washington: Thomas Jefferson’s Federal Town.” Don Alexander Hawkins. Washington History 31, no. 1/2 (2019): 108–13.

“Excavating a City Buried in Time: Two New Bird’s-Eye Paintings by Peter Waddell.” Amber Jacqueline Streker. Washington History 31, no. 1/2 (2019): 42–49.

“Preserving Our Early Architecture: The Historic American Buildings Survey in the District of Columbia, 1933–42.” Mark Schara. Washington History 30, no. 1 (2018): 30–47.

“St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Celebrates 150 Years.” Anne Dobberteen. Washington History 29, no. 2 (2017): 65–66.

“The Surviving Cultural Landscape of Washington’s Alleys.” Kim Protho Williams. Washington History 27, no. 2 (2015): 40–52.

“Legislating Jazz.” Anna Harwell Celenza. Washington History 26 (2014): 88–97.

“Washington’s Duke Ellington.” John Edward Hasse. Washington History 26 (2014): 36–59.

“Great Black Music and the Desegregation of Washington, D.C.” Maurice Jackson. Washington History 26 (2014): 12–35.

“Best of the Blogs.” Greg Winters, John DeFerrari, and Mark Jones. Washington History 25 (2013): 61–65.

“Washington’s Lost Racetracks: Horse Racing from the 1760s to the 1930s.” Lara Otis. Washington History 24, no. 2 (2012): 136–54.

“The Desegregation of George Washington University and the District of Columbia in Transition, 1946-1954.” Andrew Novak. Washington History 24, no. 1 (2012): 22–44.

“George Y. Coffin: A Schoolboy’s Life in 19th-Century Washington.” Lyle Slovick. Washington History 18, no. 1/2 (2006): 98–119.

“Civil War Washington: Rare Images from the Albert H. Small Collection.” James M. Goode. Washington History 15, no. 1 (2003): 62–79.

“Mapping Metro, 1955-1968: Urban, Suburban, and Metropolitan Alternatives.” Zachary M. Schrag. Washington History 13, no. 1 (2001): 4–23.

“The 19th-Century High-Tech Systems of Christian Heurich’s Mansion.” Richard F. Evans. Washington History 8, no. 1 (1996): 38–53.

“‘Homosexual Citizens’: Washington’s Gay Community Confronts the Civil Service.” David K. Johnson. Washington History 6, no. 2 (1994): 44–63.

“Unbuilt Washington: The City as It Might Have Been.” Don Alexander Hawkins. Washington History 5, no. 2 (1993): 29–41.

“The Rise of Christian Heurich and His Mansion.” Candace Shireman. Washington History 5, no. 1 (1993): 4–27.

“150th Anniversary of the Birth of Christian Heurich.” Candace Shireman. Washington History 4, no. 2 (1992): 87–87.

“St. Mary’s Episcopal Church: 125 and Thriving.” Washington History 4, no. 1 (1992): 89–89.

“Rock Creek Hundred: Land Conveyed for the Federal City.” Priscilla W. McNeil. Washington History 3, no. 1 (1991): 34–51.