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A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future

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Randle Highlands VS Fort Dupont [Antique Overlay of an Anacostia Alternative Future]
|| 10/29/2009 || 4:07 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Screen grab from Google Earth showing the location of Randle Highlands

Image links to the KMZ file for Google Earth

The other day I was canvassing the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America newspaper collection and came across this advertisement that was published on May 27th, 1910 in the Washington Times. It shows development plans for Randle Highlands, a neighborhood in Southeast, Washington, DC. I was curious about the results of the newspaper ad. As in, how much has the map changed in the last 99 years? Surprisingly, not too much. Most of the land was developed to plan, except for one large chunk of the land that remains “undeveloped” to this day: Fort Dupont Park.

The National Park Service website says:

This particular fort had six sides, each 100 feet long, protected by a deep moat and trees felled side-by-side with branches pointing outward. It was named for Flag Officer Samuel F. du Pont, who commanded the naval victory at Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861.

Although its garrison and guns never saw battle, Fort Dupont served as a lifeline of freedom. Runaway slaves found safety here before moving on to join the growing community of “contrabands” in Washington. The barracks and guns are gone, but the fort’s earthworks can still be traced near the picnic area on Alabama Avenue.

In the 1930s, the National Capital Planning Commission acquired the old fort and surrounding land for recreation. An 18-hole golf course was constructed. As the city grew, golf gave way in 1970 to the sports complex along Ely Place that now includes tennis and basketball courts, athletic fields, and a softball diamond. An indoor ice rink offers skating all winter. Where once the Civil War fort looked out over farmlands, city dwellers now grow vegetables in community garden plots.

This advertisement was printed 20 years before the National Capital Planning Commission changed the future of this neighborhood. I wonder what it would be like today if it wasn’t a park? Umm, I mean golf course. I was able to line up the old map with the contemporary imagery and by adjusting the transparency in Google Earth you can see how much has been developed. Click here to download the KMZ file for Google Earth


Screen grab from Google Earth showing the location of present day Fort Dupont Park

Image links to Google Maps


Transcription below:

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2008 Washington, DC Area Calendar
|| 12/3/2007 || 7:42 am || Comments Off on 2008 Washington, DC Area Calendar || ||

Below are the months of the calendar featuring places around the Washington, DC metropolitan area and links to their respective entries so that you can see the map’s full size. Read more about the other calendars here.

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Washington Highlands Quilt #3
|| 11/17/2006 || 12:52 pm || Comments Off on Washington Highlands Quilt #3 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

View the Google Map of Washington Highlands in Ward 8, Washington, DC.



View Rendering Details:

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Washington Highlands Quilt #2
|| 11/16/2006 || 12:46 pm || Comments Off on Washington Highlands Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

View the Google Map of Washington Highlands in Ward 8, Washington, DC.



View Rendering Details:

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Washington Highlands Quilt
|| 11/15/2006 || 12:37 pm || Comments Off on Washington Highlands Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

View the Google Map of Washington Highlands in Ward 8, Washington, DC.



View Rendering Details:

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Good Hope Quilt #3
|| 2/27/2006 || 8:06 am || Comments Off on Good Hope Quilt #3 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Using this image, I made a 1st derivative map of the area. It looks great! So much love…
View the Google Map of 1300 Good Hope Rd., Anacostia, Washington, DC



View Details:

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Good Hope Quilt #2
|| 2/26/2006 || 8:26 am || Comments Off on Good Hope Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

The heart shows up quite a bit more in this map. I’ve chosen to sample a portion this map for a 1st derivative map (look at detail #3 to see what source imagery I am using for the next map!)
View the Google Map of 1300 Good Hope Rd., Anacostia, Washington, DC



View Details:

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Good Hope Quilt
|| 2/25/2006 || 8:23 am || Comments Off on Good Hope Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

I chose this site in Ward 8 of Washington, DC because it is the location of a large mural I worked on extensively last summer with my friends. The project was funded by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and because of my work on the mural, I included this location in my proposal to the DCCAH. I would have never submitted the proposal if it weren’t for that project, and of all times to get a phone call from the mural’s creator, I got one yesterday as I was post-processing the map. Good timing right? Nay, synchronous timing, as usual! My former housemate Jill, the artist behind the mural’s creation, informed me that I had a typo on the website (I made it for her, but have yet to be paid, nudge nudge) and she wanted me to fix it before the Culture Vulture City Paper reporter spots it and made fun of her.

What I like best about this map, and the rest that will be made with this imagery, is that I found a heart! Check the details to see a close-up of it! After all, I really do love my maps…

View the Google Map of 1300 Good Hope Rd., Anacostia, Washington, DC



View Details:

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A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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