Posts Tagged ‘postcards’

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Portsmouth, Independent Cities, Virginia, Sanborn Map Company, February 1898

Seaboard Airline R. R. Station and Main Offices, Portsmouth, Va. (postcard, circa 1930-1945)


“The Seaboard Coastline Building, a prominent landmark situated on the Portsmouth waterfront, has stood for nearly a century as a major symbol of rail transportation and land-and-sea commerce to the harbor city of Portsmouth, Virginia. Erected in 1894-95 and enlarged in 1914, the structure served as the northern terminus and office headquarters of the Seaboard Air Line until 1956. The significance of the railroad and, in particular, this northern terminal, to the commerce and industry of the region is indisputable: The Seaboard Air Line Railroad transported much of the vast southern cotton crop to the Portsmouth terminal, exchanging for fertilizer and other manufactured products from the north. The railroad provided access to the rich coalfields of West Virginia, the steel industry as far south as Birmingham, Alabama, and the fruit and produce groves of Florida. The strategic siting of the terminal and warehouses along the Portsmouth harbor provided a critical link to the north-south internal shipping route extending from New York to South Carolina, as well as a familiar landmark to the passenger ferries approaching from the neighboring harbors of Norfolk and Newport News.”
National Register of Historic Places — Nomination Form — Seaboard Coastline Building — Portsmouth, Virginia — 124-0053

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General Montgomery C. Meigs “was ready to retire in 1881 when instead he was appointed by Congress to build a large new office building to house the burgeoning U.S. Pension Bureau that was in charge of distributing pensions to Civil War veterans. Meigs chose a block-long site at the northern end of Judiciary Square where the infamous “Blue Jug”—the city’s old decrepit jail—had stood in earlier days. On this site Meigs conceived an immense modern office building that would be relatively inexpensive to construct but nevertheless elegant in decoration and far more practical than most contemporary buildings of its type. The result was a great red-brick palace, or perhaps an “old red barn,” depending on your point of view. With an eclectic mix of styles and materials, the resulting structure was as grand and impressive as it was ungainly in proportions.”
Streets of Washington: Stories and Images of Historic Washington, DC

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frieze-pension-bldg_500x388“The Pension Building was built as a memorial to the Union soldiers, sailors, and marines of the Civil War. This memorial theme is carried out by the exterior frieze extending completely around the building depicting a parade of military Civil War units. The frieze was designed and sculpted by Bohemian-born Caspar Buberl. [It] was meant to make a statement about the power of the military in American society. The building has national significance because it represents the Civil War generation’s own memorial to the Civil War. It has further significance because it was built for and occupied by the Pension Bureau, the first Federal veterans agency to operate on a national scale.” — National Park Service, Washington, DC: Pension Building, accessed December 30, 2018

The postcard’s from the author’s collection.


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