Turns out a taxman’s house is the oldest building still standing on the National Mall.
The 178-year-old stone structure – known as the Lockkeeper’s House – sits at one of the busiest intersections in Washington, D.C. It’s been dilapidated for decades, but is about to get a multi-million dollar makeover.
“Constitution Avenue was actually the Washington City Canal…food was dropped off here, goods were dropped off here, and the lockkeeper collected the taxes and took notes and took records about what came in and out of this city at this wharf,” Caroline Cunningham, the president of the Trust for the National Mall, said in an interview outside the house, which was once the gateway to commerce in the nation’s capital.
More recently it served as a jail, storage hut and even a public restroom before being shuttered entirely in the 1970s. “A place for dead birds,” said Cunningham. “It’s deeply sad that it’s been closed for such a long time.”
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