Washington, D.C.

Small front gardens and a sidewalk cafe on 17th Street, N.W., between H and I Streets, August 1973, by Dick Swanson for DOCUMERICA, via The U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

(Click on the image for a better view.)

None of these buildings remain today. The current view (from the ground) is here.

DOCUMERICA was an photography program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From 1972 to 1977, it hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.” They created an archive of about 80,000 images.

In addition to recording damage to the nation’s landscapes, the project captured “the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements,” according to the Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013.

Salem, Massachusetts

View of garden, looking south, Leverett Saltonstall Place, 41 Chestnut Street, Salem, Massachusetts, June 1940, by Frank O. Branzetti for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (both photos).

In 1808 (or maybe 1810), Thomas Saunders built a double house for his two daughters, Caroline and Mary Elizabeth, and their husbands, brothers Nathaniel and Leverett Salstonstall.

The Leverett Salstonstalls lived in the no. 41 side, shown here.

Looking north.

The garden was also laid out about 1810. Its arrangement was reportedly the same as when this drawing was made in 1937.

Drawing by Louise Rowell, 1937, for the same HABS. Click to enlarge.

Mary and Leverett’s granddaughter, Mary Saltonstall Parker, also lived in the house in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She wrote several little books of sentimental verse that fed into the Colonial Revival movement of that period. During WWI, her needlework art was published in House Beautiful and other publications.

The Sunday porch: Airlie, N.C.

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“Miss Lula Thorne’s house,” Oakland Plantation, Airlie in Halifax County, North Carolina, between 1935 and 1938, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Beautiful vines and interesting columns.  And I really like the four small sconces — one on each side of the door and one at each corner.

There were similar vines and sconces on this other North Carolina house here.

Oakland house was probably built between 1823 and 1828 for Elizabeth Williams Thorne Drake and either her first or second husband. It still stands, but, at some point after the 1930s, the porch was rebuilt to match the late Federal “temple form” style of the rest of the house. You can see it about 2012 here and here.


Vintage landscape: Redlands gate

The gate, Redlands, LoCThe Redlands estate is at Carter’s Bridge, near Charlottesville, Virginia.  All photos here taken in 1933, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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Redlands is one of many Virginia houses associated with the descendants of Robert “King” Carter.  It is still owned by members of the Carter family and is open to the public during Historic Garden Week in the spring.