“Ghosts of DC” has provided a video for a mid-20th century television series put together by the Army Pictorial Service. I don’t remember it being on TV, but wiki gives information. The series was called “The Big Picture.” This segment is titled: “Alexandria: City of Understanding.” The city declared the week of June 9-15 as “Alexandria Salutes the Army.”
The year isn’t given so I queried The Washington Post. The event took place in 1957. A parade and dances were held, shoppers in Old Town found bargains and discounts, and city officials and civic leaders hosted Army personnel and vice versa at Fort Belvoir. The Post also published a photo of Patricia A. Rose, who was voted “Miss Alexandria.”
Anyway, this program is a treasure trove of moving pictures and images. I went through it and jotted down these thoughts and observations.
1:31 100 Block of Prince Street, apparently two-ways back then.
1:45 Ficklin Elementary School. Didn’t know about this one. Google says it was near 2nd and Pitt. Now townhomes.
2:07 Market Square/Old Farmers Market in a way I have not seen it before.
2:23 Gadsby’s Tavern, handsome as ever.
2:27 Old sign for Stable-Leadbeater Apothecary.
3:05 Carlyle House, whose backside looks a bit different now.
5:58 King and Washington Street, although I had to look twice.
6:24 Mayor Bendheim.
6:42 Chamber of Commerce. Anyone know this building?
8:13 Another look at King and Washington. JC Penney in the building now occupied by Ross.
8:49 George Mason Hotel at Prince and S. Washington.
10:57 Looks like Robinson Terminal South, with the newsprint rolls being unloaded.
12:23 Delegation visits the Fruit Growers Express. Very little has been written about this company. Fortunately, the City included it in a new interpretive marker (The Bloxham Family) at the new Whittier Park on Duke Street.
Expansion of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad line after the Civil War heralded a transformation to large enterprises like the Fruit Growers Express (FGX) Company, which purchased the Bloxham farm in 1926. FGX, which manufactured refrigerated rail cars to transport fresh produce throughout the eastern United States, continued in business on this site until the 1980s.
12:54 Street sign for Powhatan and Bernard Street. The Traffic Control Center was there.
13:25 King Street Sign, says oldest early street sign.
13:36 Temple Village. Had to look this one up too. This was a trailer park for veterans. It was located near the intersection of Telegraph Road and Duke Street. More precisely, it was bordered by Telegraph to the western, the railroad tracks to the north, a road now part of Eisenhower Avenue to the south, and the Metro Line running past the Hoffman Theaters to the west.
There’s more – have fun watching!!