1921 Olsen Bird's Eye View of Washington, D.C.

Offered is an unusual and rare 1921 large-format William Olsen bird's-eye view of Washington, D.C. and environs in its first edition. The map is oriented towards the southwest, with the view depicting the city from the U.S. Capitol Building south to Virginia and Maryland. The map is detailed with individual buildings throughout Washington and numerous locations labeled.

Some of the important government buildings are illustrated in a three-dimensional view, including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, buildings of the War Department and the Navy Department, and the Executive Mansion (White House as it was once called). George Washington University, Georgetown University, and Howard University are also identified in the map. The map also details various YMCA locations, an orphan asylum, hotels, and electric and telephone buildings. Major streets are labeled throughout. The edges of the map appear to spill out from the border that has been drawn around it.

This view is unusual for its use of three dimensions and for the fact that it appears late in the view-making tradition. It was produced by William Olsen and printed by the A.B. Graham Company in 1921. This view is scarce on the market and shown here in its first edition. The map was later reissued in 1922 by the Columbia Planograph Company and on a much smaller scale in 1923.


Overall very good condition with no significant wear besides light foxing. Good coloring throughout. Framed according to conservation standards in a black frame.

Framed dimensions: 34" H x 50" W x 1 1/2" D

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