Author: Bill Lebovich

Architectural walking tours of Washington,D.C.

Bill Lebovich, former National Park Service historian, architectural historian and photographer, and former adjunct college faculty member, gives weekday and weekend tours of Lafayette Square, Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, historic downtown and museums, and custom tours.

To schedule a tour, get additional information, reviews, DSCN2867.jpgor ask questions, email me at or call (301) 467-2831.

Late 19th century textured architecture

In the Adams Morgan section of Washington,DC, an upscale bohemian neighborhood of row houses and distinctive restaurants featuring international tastes, there is equally impressive architecture.

This late 19th century large residence (now residences) shows variety of materials (brick and copper), range of colors (yellowish brick and nearly black copper), and narrow brick with tight joints suggesting weaving, and visual interest through the detailed panels and contrast between various rounds and flat surfaces and roofline.IMG_3629.jpgIMG_3631.jpg


Watergate update

IMG_3660.jpgIn 1972 the burglars of the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate rented two rooms at the Howard Johnson’s on Virginia Ave.,across from the Watergate.

The owner of the former Howard Johnson’s, George Washington University, has gutted the building, destroying any remnants of the burglars’ rooms.

HoJo’s will probably not be renamed after Richard M. Nixon.

Unexpected consequences that can occur with photo-editing.

Applying an old principle of black and white film photography that it is better to get the image right at the time of shooting, rather than depending on manipulating in the darkroom, I limit my editing of digital images.

For a photo of an early 19th structure along the C & O canal I could not get far enough back and I had to tilt the camera up, resulting in considerable converging of vertical lines.

I used software to straighten the lines resulting in, unfortunately, cropping of the building.

But much more disturbing was the distortion of the second story windows.

At least I was able to get undistorted images of the end and canal side of the building by crossing the canal.IMG_3410_DxOVP.jpg


Senator John McCain

Yesterday’s New York Times deferentially described the Senator as “being known for his independent streak.”  “Feisty” is another word more often associated with Senator McCain.  But in 1998 I interviewed him for an article in Southwest Art and I was struck by how gracious, soft-spoken he and Mrs. McCain were and his warm feelings towards his staff.  Most striking was sense of equality in the office.  Unlike other offices in the U.S. Capitol, his staff were not jammed together in a small space, while the senator or representative had a massive office at the end of the office, with a grand view of the National Mall.  Senator McCain’s desk and office were only slightly larger than those of staff and in the middle of the suite, John McCain20072017.jpgwithout the grand view.

The two photographs behind the Senator were gifts from his predecessor Barry Goldwater and it is Goldwater’s desk that McCain now uses.  To the right of these photographs is one of two Edward S. Curtis images on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.