Photo: This is the 9:30 Club in the 1940s

This photo comes courtesy of the Washingtoniana Division of the D.C. Public Library, and I can't stop staring at it. It's the building at 815 V St. NW that would eventually become the 9:30 Club. But in 1948, it was Duke Ellington's.

(Courtesy DC Public Library, Washingtoniana Division)
(Courtesy DC Public Library, Washingtoniana Division)

According to library records, Ellington was one of the club's co-owners. The structure was built in 1946 and looks virtually identical today, down to the location and contrasting color of the club's box office windows. Only the broadcast antenna that serves as a reminder of the building's years as the home of WUST-AM 1120 appears absent, a later addition.

The photo is another piece of trivia for a venue that is already replete with history. Speaking of, this is a good time to revisit J. Freedom du Lac's excellent oral history of the 9:30 Club from 2010. Read it if you haven't.  

Alex Baldinger is editor of the Going Out Guide blog, which covers food, drink, arts, music, events and other curiosities in the D.C. area. He is forever in search of a great sandwich.



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