If you own one of the many historic brick rowhouses in the Washington DC neighborhoods, you are probably curious about who built your home and when. Now you can use a new free resource made available by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) to research that history.The Beyond the Boundaries research project expands the information on historic homes to include those outside the Capitol Hill Historic District.
The Beyond the Boundaries Map
In 2011, CHRS engaged volunteers and architectural historians to document and photograph 6,402 properties in the 105 squares outside the Capitol Hill Historic District. The Beyond the Boundaries area is bordered on the west by the Capitol Hill Historic District Boundary (generally 12th and 13th Streets, NE and SE), H Street, NE on the north, 19th Street, NE and SE on the east, and the Anacostia River on the east and south. The area includes Hill East and Rosedale. To research your historic brick home, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Beyond the Boundaries map.
- Find the square where your house is located. The map shows streets and squares, so it should be easy to find your square.
- After you find your square, click on the square on the list of squares to the right of the map. Information on your square will open up, and then navigate to your lot.
- You will find an architectural survey, address, date of construction, owner who constructed the building, architect, builder, architectural style and building type. Reports contain a photograph.
History Beyond the Boundaries
CHRS also engaged architectural historians to write a history of the Beyond the Boundaries area that includes:
- early geography and land conditions
- early landowners, the federal period
- the Civil War
- Shepherd’s Board of Public Works
- impediments to development and their solution
- the World Wars and afterwards
- the area's business, educational, religious and cultural history
Note: The original article by Beth Purcell, Chair of the CHRS Beyond the Boundaries Committee, was published in the HillRag.
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