Then & Now: Georgetown University and Potomac Aqueduct Bridge 100 Years Apart

Washington DC has a lot of history. The Smithsonian museums, the monuments, etc., but it is interesting to see just how much the city has changed over the years. I thought it would be fun to revisit an historic location using one of Lewis Reed’s original photographs for “then” and a stock image from today for “now” to see what differences are visible. In the following photographs, you can see how Washington, DC looks both the same and completely different from a century ago.

Georgetown University and Aqueduct Bridge (THEN): The Key Bridge was not the original connector between Georgetown and Virginia. Prior to that construction in the 1920s, there were two iterations of the Aqueduct Bridge. The second iteration of the bridge looked visibly different, but even that one suffered from deterioration and was only used between 1889 and 1918. The Aqueduct Bridge continued as a bridge for traffic until the Key Bridge opened in 1923.

Seen in the black & white photograph taken by Lewis Reed in 1913, is the Aqueduct Bridge over the Potomac River in Washington, DC. The spires of buildings at Georgetown University can be seen in the background.

Aqueduct Bridge Washington DC 1913

Potomac Aqueduct Bridge Washington DC 1913. Photo by Lewis Reed

Georgetown University and Key Bridge (NOW): The same view over a century later hasn’t changed much.

Georgetown University and Key Bridge Washington DC

Georgetown University and Key Bridge Washington DC today

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

2 responses to “Then & Now: Georgetown University and Potomac Aqueduct Bridge 100 Years Apart”

  1. Jonathan B. Richards II says :

    Good Afternoon Ms. Gartner,
    This juxtaposition of two views of the bridges spanning the Potomac are amazing. During WWII we lived in Vienna, VA and my father , working as an attorney with the OPA , drove over the Chain Bridge daily to work downtown. We love the Washington, D.C. area to this day and visit often. In fact my wife will be spending 10 days in D.C. next week. Vienna has changed so drastically from the 1944-1947 era when we lived in the immediate post-Civil War home of Hines at Church Street and Lawyers Road , now the U.S. Post Office in Vienna. How time does fly, Thank you for your many fine and historic posts to this site.

    • Reed Brothers says :

      Thank you for stopping by Johnathan, and taking the time to post your comment. I love “then and now” photos because of their potential to tell fascinating stories with just two pictures. It truly is amazing how places can change so much over such short periods of time.

      I know the exact location you are referring to in Vienna, because I live right down the road in Oakton. I’m so happy your visit here brought back some good memories!

      My Best Regards,
      Jeanne

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