Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D. C. USA about 1892

pennsylvania-avenue-washington-d-c-usa-about-1892

PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE WASHINGTON D. C.Washington, like Paris, is a city of noble perspectives. Its stately avenues, smoothly paved with asphalt, are not merely handsome thoroughfares in themselves; they have also at their termini either buildings of superb proportions or groups of statuary commemorating many of the statesmen and generals of the nation. Pennsylvania Avenue is the most prominent of all Washington’s streets. That part of it which connects the Treasury and the White House with the Capitol is straight as an arrow, is about a mile and a quarter long, and has a width of 160 feet. If the structures which front upon it were only of a uniform height, the appearance of this famous avenue would rival that of almost any in the world. Unfortunately too much individual irregularity is permitted in the architectural embellishment of American cities, and while a certain amount of variety is always desirable, glaring contrasts in style and above all in height, detract from an otherwise beautiful effect. Upon this avenue, or very near it, are many of the leading stores, hotels and theatres. At one extremity rises, like a snow-covered mountain, the dome of the Capitol; at the other is the truly majestic building of the Treasury. This city is appropriately named after the nation’s first President, for it was Washington himself who chose its site, and who laid the corner-stone of the Capitol in September, 1792. Seven years later the seat of the Government was removed thither from Philadelphia. The city was also planned and laid out by Andrew Ellicott under Washington’s supervision. The latter desired to have it called “Federal City,” but his own name was bestowed on it, and it was incorporated as a city on the 3d of May, 1802. In 1860 its population was 60,000. In 1890 it was 230,392. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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