Harris & Ewing Photographic Studio – Washington, D.C. - Atlas Obscura

Harris & Ewing Photographic Studio

Once home to the largest photo service in the United States.  


Dating back to 1924, this Italian Renaissance Revival-style building that stands at 1313 F St. was once home to the largest news photo service in the United States.

George W. Harris and Martha Ewing were also Washington D.C.’s preeminent portrait photographers from 1905 to 1955, and their firm served as the official White House photographers during that period.

They started their business in 1905, but it was not until 1924 that they renovated the historic building that still bears their names on its limestone facade to this day.

The building featured four studios, eight dressing rooms, developing and finishing laboratories, and a filing room containing more than one million negatives.

Upon his retirement, Harris donated a massive collection of 700,000 glass film negatives to the Library of Congress, which are preserved in the Prints and Photographs Division. Several Harris photographs are preserved in the City Museum of Washington, D.C., and the National Portrait Gallery also has many of his works.

Harris died at the age of 92 in 1964, and Harris & Ewing closed in 1977. The building has since been home to the advertising firm Don Schaff & Friends, several tech startups, and a number of different restaurants on the ground level.

Know Before You Go

Harris & Ewing Photographic Studio was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 16, 1994.

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May 9, 2023

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