n another post that I wrote about Washington DC maps from the 1920s
, I featured a plate from a survey atlas that showed Blagden Alley and Shepherd Alley. This time I’ve chosen to explore more about alley life in Washington DC in the 1920s.
Alley Life in Washington DC Blind Alleys, 1920s
Blagden Alley was one of the most infamous of the “blind” alleys. This means that it had dark corners and dead ends in which nefarious activities could take place, and typically only had one way in and out. Social workers and the government focused mainly on the “blind” alleys when Washington DC tried to reform alley life in the early 1900s. The featured photo (and others that I found on the very cool Shorpy blog) gives you a good idea of what it must have been like. Compared to the wider streets and grand avenues of Washington, the alleys are narrow and confining.
Reason # 27 why I heart the Internet:
The maps. Oh, the maps…
A Bird’s Eye View of Washington DC from 1929
Map of Washington DC from 1892 from the Engineer Corps
Washington DC streetcar map from 1891
The Mall and Vicinity of Washington DC, dated 1917
Baltimore and Ohio train map of Washington DC, dated 1936
Especially the one featured from Washington DC in the 1920s. It’s from a survey done by “G. Wm. Baist, Wm. E., & H.V. Baist, surveyors” and is amazing.