I did manage to get out in the light rain and walk around Washington, DC long enough to add to my stock of door photos. You’re probably thinking “you spent time walking around our Nation’s Capital and this is the door you came up with?”
Yes, yes it is.
Actually, I took tons of pictures of doors, but this is my favorite for several reasons.
As the title implies, this is where the lockkeeper lived/worked as he collected tolls and recorded log entries on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O) Extension that connected with the Washington City Canal in 1833. You can read about the C&O Canal here and you can read more about The Lockkeeper’s House here, if you’re interested. I found this interesting for reasons others wouldn’t necessarily understand.
I live in Windsor Locks, CT. Windsor Locks is located at the southern terminus of the Windsor Locks Canal and, since the canal gains a few feet of elevation as it heads north beyond the Enfield Rapids, there is a lock in Windsor Locks and a Lockkeeper’s House. I think I’ll feature that next Thursday so I can keep this post short(er than I want, because I could write thousands of words about canals and locks). I digress.
The other thing I like about this house is that somebody thought to preserve it. I realize that it doesn’t look particularly well-preserved. That’s because the people who thought to preserve it, had that thought in 1903 when they converted the building into Park Police headquarters (the house sits on the northern edge of the National Mall). In the 1940s the first floor was made into a “public comfort station” – I like that expression, used by the National Park system, better than “restroom,” used by Wikipedia. Presently, the building is used for storage by the park maintenance staff.
The other reason I wanted to feature this building is because it seems to be falling into disrepair again. This bothers me. The C&O Canal has been preserved as a National Historic Park, but this seems to be all that remains of the connection to The Washington City Canal. That canal was filled in long ago. Federal office buildings and Constitution Avenue have been built over the trench. It’s gone.
We They realized over 100 years ago that this building was worth preserving and yet we seem content to let it fall into a state where Congress will have to deliberate, delegate and appropriate in order to renovate (I’m on a roll here) a dilapidated building that could have been kept alive with a few replacement windows, a bit of mortar and a coat of paint on some doors and trim.
This post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors series. A bunch of people share interesting doors. You can join too, Norm has made it easy.