Historical Map: Street Railways, City of Washington, D.C., 1891
As the first segment of the new DC Streetcar on H Street and Benning Road nears completion, here’s a look back at what existed a long, long time ago. As can be seen at this time, no fewer than ten streetcar companies operated in the District. By 1895, Congress authorised consolidation of the companies and the larger, more successful systems bought out the smaller ones.
The map itself is very handsome, with the distinctive grid of the L’Enfant Plan very evident, especially compared to the relatively haphazard development north of “Boundary Street” — now Florida Avenue. Interestingly, the track of the Columbia Company (shown as yellow on the map) runs along H Street from its intersection with Benning Road past today’s Union Station: the exact same route that is nearing completion now, 122 years after this map was drawn up.
More information on the history of streetcars in Washington, DC on Wikipedia.
(Source: Sean Hennessey/Flickr)