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Lost Washington, D.C. Paperback – October 20, 2011


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Lost Washington, D.C. + Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.:: Capital Eats (American Palate) + Woodward & Lothrop:: A Store Worthy of the Nation's Capital (Landmark Department Stores)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Books such as DeFerrari's push us to look up from our devices and enter a past that is not visual, but a part of a living city." --Marc Fisher, The Washington Post

"For aficionados of D.C. history, DeFerrari's lively historical nuggets - complete with plenty of vintage photos - will provide hours of pleasure and perhaps the occasional 'Gee, I didn't know that!'" --Karen Lyon, The Hill Rag

"Lost uses personal sketches, lithographs, period photos, and postcards to cover the city's earliest days as a sparsely populated "largely rolling farmland and rugged wilderness" to a city now with more than 600,000 residents....While focused on the past physical identity of the city, Lost also introduces us to a cast of personalities whose entrepreneurial élan helped build a growing city, the seat of a power of an expanding nation. These characters helped forge the city's emotional and social identity." --John Muller, Greater, Greater Washington

About the Author

John DeFerrari, a native Washingtonian with a lifelong passion for local history, pens the Streets of Washington blog and is the author of Lost Washington, D.C. (The History Press, 2011) and Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats (The History Press, 2013). DeFerrari is active in historic preservation and serves as a trustee of the D.C. Preservation League. He also has a master's degree in English literature from Harvard University and works for the federal government.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (October 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609493656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609493653
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John DeFerrari was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and has a passion for local history. Trained as a writer, he has a Master's Degree in English Literature from Harvard University. In 2009, after admiring Washington's beautiful buildings and public spaces for many years, DeFerrari began writing about them in his blog, "Streets of Washington." "Lost Washington, D.C.," his first book, was based in part on reader favorites from the blog but also included many new stories. DeFerrari's latest book, "Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats" is a lively survey of the many colorful eateries that have fed Washingtonians from the early 1800s through the 20th century.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patti Byrd on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
...are told in this book, including the time in 1924 when Babe Ruth knocked himself out cold by running into the concrete wall at Griffith Stadium while chasing a fly ball (and there's a photo to prove it). Francis Scott Key's mansion in Georgetown and George Washington's townhouses on Capitol Hill are gone forever, as are the "polite" and less-polite vaudeville theaters downtown, but John DeFerrari's thorough research, engaging writing and good use of photos give a strong sense of what it was like when they were here. Other buildings still stand, including the former Greyhound bus station and the bakeries in Shaw that provided much of the city's bread and baked goods 100 years ago. DeFerrari tells about the tragic collapse of the Knickerbocker Theater roof in 1922 (98 people killed), and the late but not-lamented newspaper publisher Frank Munsey ("May he rest in trust"). The author's great use of detail (the Child's restaurant near Union Station--now a SunTrust bank--was designed by NYC Chrysler Building architect William Van Alen) makes this book a fascinating read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Southside Thaddeus on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mine just arrived and I sped through it...

This is most certainly a timely book for Washingtonian bibliophiles, preservationists, and historians. There are eight neighborhood or areas of the city that are touched on from old downtown to Georgetown to Capitol Hill to Northeast (west of the Anacostia). The author has dug up many sources to give life to old, lost Washington -- both the places and the people. Although it says the author is not a professional historian this work presents himself as one. No shortcuts have been taken as there are notes, bibliography, index, and maps. This is a well formatted book, packed tightly for its 160 pages.

This is a must have for anyone interested in the history of the greatest city in the world!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By BLJ on November 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Who me? Nostalgic for the sleepy, provincial, cultural wasteland that I remember as growing up in Washington. Never! Yet, that's exactly what John deFerrari succeeds in evoking with his descriptions of DC's iconic buildings and neighborhoods--some forever lost to the wrecking ball, still others unrecognized and uncelebrated. In his pages, I found a whole new city I had ignored despite a lifetime in residence. Kudos to the author for unlocking the vibrant architectural and cultural history of our capitol.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Garrett Peck on January 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John DeFerrari, a member of the D.C. Preservation League and blogger at the Streets of Washington, has turned his keen investigative eye and descriptive prose into a fine book that tells the story of how so many historic buildings were lost in the nation's capital before preservation laws could protect them. But this is much more than just a book about old torn down buildings: he focuses on the people who built them, the people who inhabited or died in them, and the people who struggled (often futilely) to save them. Many of the stories come from his excellent and well researched blog, but he has also added considerable detail and new sites to the book. It is easy to read and accessible, yet maddening to see how many historic sites have been lost. DeFerrari has written an outstanding book that will remind us of the importance of historic preservation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Killersax on November 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who's been around DC for a while will recognize many of these now-vanished buildings. Interesting stories abound, and good illustrations help bring these landmarks back to life.
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