January 27, 2014

1925 photo of Griffith Stadium also shows LeDroit Park


Every time I come across a photo of Griffith Stadium, which stood where Howard University Hospital now stands, I look carefully for an angle of LeDroit Park.  By way of Ghosts of DC comes this superb 1925 aerial shot looking north at the stadium and part of the neighborhood.

The east-west street in the foreground is the 500 and 600 blocks of U Street NW.  Zoom in and look around.  Notice the streetcars on Georgia Avenue in the upper-left corner of the photo.  Notice the previous incarnation of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in the lower-left corner.

The stands beyond Griffith’s straightaway center field backed up to 5th Street from Elm to V Streets.  Can you imagine hearing the crack of a bat and roar of crowds during a Senators game?

Also note what’s no longer standing.  All but seven houses pictured east and north of the stadium have since been demolished, replaced with parking garages, parking lots, public housing, or academic buildings.  Nearly all of these houses would be illegal to rebuild today under our 1950s zoning code, which mandates minimum lot sizes and house widths to which much of historic LeDroit Park does not conform.

Photo source: National Archives

Categories: History
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3 Replies

  1. Mickey Mantle was the only player to hit a ball out of that stadium, which was supposedly found in the back yard of 434 Oakdale Place. It is behind the stadium along the left field line facing north. Many called it the farthest home run ever hit at 565 feet though even the Mick doubted that.

    Quentin - May 14, 2014 @ 3:57 pm
  2. I now rent 434 Oakdale and told the owners about this when I moved last Fall

    Edmund - February 15, 2015 @ 11:21 am
  3. Larry Doby, of the Cleveland Indians hit a ball out of the parkpark in 1949. “Doby blasted a five-hundred foot shot off Sid Hudson over Griffith Stadium’s forty-one-foot-high right-center-field scoreboard, over an alleyway, off the roof of a row house, and on to U Street in Ledroit Park.” – Brad Snyder, Beyond the Shadow of the Senators.

    Aris - January 17, 2020 @ 3:17 pm

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