Washington As It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959


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Theodor Horydczak's Washington

Buildings and Urban Development

Horydczak documented the boom in Washington area highway construction, and the creation during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s of the ever expanding network of roads and bridges linking the district and its Virginian and Maryland suburbs. One such artery was the Mount Vernon Boulevard, now the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which connected the District with Mount Vernon and points south, and with the rural areas on the Potomac above the city.

Mt. Vernon Blvd
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Mt. Vernon Blvd. Showing city of Washington in distance I

Horydczak's photographs also record the development of tract housing to accommodate the influx of personnel, and the growth of such communities as Greenbelt, Maryland, and Fairlington in Virginia, to house the growing numbers of federal workers who arrived in Washington to implement the New Deal programs. Horydczak's work also includes numerous depictions of domestic interiors, commercial buildings, and residential hotels and apartment buildings.

park & shop
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Park and Shop. View of Park and Shop from high point across Connecticut Ave.

Post World War II modernist architecture in Washington is also well represented. Horydczak's photographs of the Washington Gas Light Company building at 11th and H Streets, NW, for example, show the sleek design and construction associated with streamlining.

Washington Gas Light Co. Office building
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Washington Gas Light Co. Office building, 11th and H St. IV

Construction of the Federal Triangle and of the multitude of federal structures erected during the 1930s and 40s, are also featured in Horydczak's photographs. Aside from construction photographs, Horydczak also produced views of many of the grand and imposing buildings and sites traditionally associated with the nation's heritage, such as the Capitol, the Washington Monument, Arlington Cemetery, and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. These images were probably made for use on postcards, guidebooks, or calendars, and for other commercial purposes.

Jefferson Memorial
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Jefferson Memorial. Front view of Jefferson Memorial from across water I