I find this photo particularly fascinating because of the absence of the reflecting pool (completed in 1923). This image better reflects the fetid, malaria-infested swamp that Washington D.C. was in its early history*. This is how it looked when my parents were born, so this is not ancient history.
I was born in Washington D.C., and some of my earliest memories were of visits to the reflecting pool and especially to the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin. Here I am at the reflecting pool in 1949 -
- I think facing toward the Lincoln Memorial, with the Washington Monument faintly visible in the distant haze. Dad was in the Navy, stationed in D.C., so we lived across the river in Arlington. An interesting place to begin life.