United Brick Company Photograph Collection, ca. 1993

United Brick Company Photograph Collection, ca. 1993

Finding Aid

Collection No. P17
D.C. Community Archives


There is no deed of gift and it is uncertain as to how the library acquired these photographs. Original housing for the photographs was in a “Bernard Johnson Incorporated” envelope, but there is no indication that they were the donor.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 85 4"x6" and 3.5"x5" color images of the abandoned United Brick Company buildings and kilns. The kilns are located on New York Avenue and are currently owned by the National Arboretum. All the images were taken around 1993 and show the vast vegetation over-growth and dilapidation of the site.


The United Brick Company built the kilns around 1909, and at its peak produced more than 140,000 bricks a day. The brickyard made its last brick in 1972 and the site was abandoned. In 1977, the National Arboretum purchased the land and in October of 1978 the United Brick Corporation brick complex was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. The National Arboretum has plans to landscape the area, but has yet to begin the work.

Processing Procedures

The images were removed from their original housing. Each image was assigned a number and placed in an individual polypropylene sleeve. The images were then placed in an acid-free folder and stored in an archival storage box. The box was then placed in the D.C. Community Archives for long-term storage.


There are no restrictions on viewing this collection and all photographs are in the “public domain,” therefore there are no restrictions on reproduction. Reproductions should appear with the proper attribution indicating that the photograph is housed in the United Brick Company Photograph Collection and indicate that they appear “courtesy of Washingtoniana, DC Public Library.”

Image List

The identification of these images is extremely general since no intellectual information was printed on the rear of the photographs. Additionally there is no detailed map or diagram of the site in Washingtoniana’s collections.
  1. Brick kilns with smokestack
  2. Brick kilns with smokestack
  3. Brick kilns with smokestack
  4. Brick kilns with smokestack
  5. Exterior wall of building
  6. Building with ductwork attached to smokestack
  7. Exterior view of building
  8. Over-exposed picture
  9. Exterior view of building
  10. Interior view of building with collapsed roof
  11. Lean-to building
  12. Exterior view of building showing cracked wall
  13. Exterior view of building
  14. Exterior view of building – “United” smoke stack in background
  15. Exterior view of building
  16. Exterior view of building
  17. Small building next to smokestack
  18. Exterior view of building
  19. Interior view of building
  20. Interior view of building – engineering/electrical room?
  21. Interior view of building – metal roof
  22. Interior view of building – debris filled
  23. Interior view of building – debris filled
  24. Interior view of building
  25. Brick kiln and smokestacks
  26. Brick kiln
  27. “United” smokestack
  28. Brick kiln and smokestacks
  29. Brick kiln
  30. Brick kiln and smokestack
  31. Brick kiln
  32. Brick kiln and smokestack
  33. Brick kiln and smokestack
  34. Entrance to brick kiln
  35. Road through brick complex
  36. Brick kiln
  37. Smokestack
  38. Brick kiln and smokestacks
  39. Brick kiln and smokestack
  40. Brick kiln and smokestack
  41. Brick kiln – vegetation covered
  42. Brick kiln – vegetation covered
  43. Large paved area
  44. Large paved area
  45. Large paved area
  46. Exterior of building
  47. Long pipe sticking out of the ground
  48. Exterior of building
  49. Smokestack
  50. Brick wall near building
  51. Exterior of building
  52. Exterior of building
  53. Exterior of building
  54. Exterior of building
  55. Interior of debris filled building
  56. Interior of debris filled building
  57. Metal roof of building – interior view
  58. Boarded-up windows – interior view
  59. Wooden support beams – interior view
  60. Exterior of building
  61. Exterior of building
  62. Exterior of building
  63. Exterior of building – shed type
  64. Exterior of building
  65. Exterior of building
  66. Exterior of building
  67. Interior view of building with collapsed roof
  68. Exterior view of wall
  69. Interior view of building – wooden support beams
  70. Exterior view of wall
  71. Exterior view of wall
  72. Exterior of building
  73. Exterior of building
  74. Exterior of building
  75. Exterior of building
  76. Exterior of building
  77. Exterior of building
  78. Exterior of building with smokestacks
  79. Exterior of building
  80. Exterior of building
  81. Interior view of building
  82. Interior view of building - ceiling beams
  83. Exterior of building
  84. Exterior of building – shed type
  85. Parking lot at National Arboretum
Prepared by Mark S. Greek, Photo Archivist, May 2006

DC Public Library, Special Collections
D.C. Community Archives
901 G St. NW, Room 307
Washington, D.C. 20001

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