This image depicts a great glimpse into the past, and is among the DC Public Library system’s many great collections that look back at the history of our city, several of which have been digitized for easier access to the public—along with their availability in the Special Collections at the library. Among these are numerous resources that focus on our home quadrant of Southwest, several of which are centralized in their research guide: This is a wonderful resource to learn about the place we call home, and to get some perspective on how things have changed over time as we navigate a new phase in the timeline of our neighborhood’s continuing evolution. This particular photograph is an especially great resource, because it not only shows us visually how the area has changed, it also was taken and developed by a local son, Joseph Owen Curtis. Curtis was born and lived most of his life in Southwest DC, photographing places and people around his neighborhood who he felt represented what made Southwest special. You can view the entire collection of Curtis’s photos online at

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