News & Politics

Check Out 6 Cool Artifacts From the New DC History Center at the Carnegie Library

See the Washington Monument like you've never seen it before.

On May 11, the Historical Society of Washington, DC, opens its DC History Center in the newly re­stored Carnegie Library on Mount Vernon Square. In addition to the society’s exhibits and extensive collections, the space contains a trove of artifacts recently donated by the Kiplinger family. Here’s a look at a few highlights.

Invented in 1945, the Fulton Airphibian was a car that converted to a plane. Fewer than a dozen were built.

This 1974 watercolor by Leo Hershfield shows the Mayflower Hotel—and, on the left, Metro construction that tore up parts of the District at the time.

A party for Grover Cleveland’s first inauguration, in 1885. The ball took place at the New Pension Building, now the National Building Museum.

A Washington Herald photographer gets a rare view of the Washington Monument in 1934.

These women were probably photographed at the East Potomac Park golf course around 1930.

An 1869 view of DC by Baltimore lithographer Edward Sachse. Look closely at that weird Washington Monument: He based the image on a plan that was ultimately scrapped.

Watercolor of Mayflower by Leo Hershfield/Historical Society of Washington, DC. All other photos courtesy of Kiplinger Washington Collection/Historical Society of Washington, DC.

This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Assistant Editor

Elliot joined Washingtonian in January 2018. An alum of Villanova University, he grew up in the Philadelphia area before earning a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University. His work has also appeared in the Washington Post,, and, among others. He lives in Bloomingdale.