Vintage landscape: Lafayette Square

Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, via DCPL Commons on flickr “The Belasco Theatre as seen from Lafayette Square, ca 1910,”  via the D.C. Public Library Commons on flickr.  The photographer is not noted.

The Washington, D.C., theater was called the Lafayette Square Opera House when it was built in 1895.  It was renamed the Belasco in 1905.  In 1962, it was demolished to make way for the U.S. Court of Claims building.

Come see the north wind’s masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile. . .
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “The Snow-Storm


Vintage landscape: more snow in Washington, D.C.

Hunt photo of snowy Washington

“Woman and girl standing in icy square, Washington, D.C.,” 1889, by Uriah Hunt Painter, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Uriah Hunt Painter, 1837-1900, took a number of snapshot photographs of his neighborhood around Franklin Square and of downtown Washington using the first Kodak cameras.  Painter was a businessman and retired newspaper reporter.

“[The p]hoto shows a woman and a young girl posing mid-square with bundles. The two may be Painter’s wife, Melinda Avery Painter, and older daughter, Eleanor, returning from a marketing trip. Or perhaps Painter took their portrait because the girl is holding another Kodak – exemplifying the growing corps of amateur photographers who took advantage of Eastman’s simple box camera.”

— from the LoC online catalog

Washington market, 1989

Above: “Market scene, Washington, D.C., snow view,” 1889, by Uriah Hunt Painter. I don’t know which square is pictured in these photos.

Franklin Square, 1989

Above: “Franklin Square, Washington, D.C., snow view,” 1989, by Uriah Hunt Painter.

Today’s quote

Pope’s famous lines, in his “Epistle to the Earl of Burlington,” on ‘the genius of the place,’ . . . surely evoke a conception of The Garden as an epiphany. For Pope, ‘the genius of the place’ does not refer, as it does for many later writers, to the ambiance or natural setting of a garden: rather, it is that which ‘Now breaks, or now directs, the intending lines’ and ‘Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.’ Palpable, here is a sense of The Garden as both a response to and an exemplification of something beyond the control and invention of human beings.

— David E. Cooper, from A Philosophy of Gardens
(Thanks to View from Federal Twist.)