Books by Paul K. Williams


Charles Village: A Brief History focuses on the historic neighborhood of Charles Village, home to Johns Hopkins University and formerly Goucher College. Baltimore Orioles, infamous bootleggers, novelists of the Jazz Age and famous musicians have all wandered and lived among the stately Victorian homes and vibrant “painted ladies” of Charles Village, and the book follows the neighborhood’s transformation from a series of country villas for the wealthy elite to its diverse and vibrant cultural hub today.

Neighborhoods of Washington, DC

Once a single 998-acre farm, Cleveland Park can trace its origins to 1740, when large country estates, such as Rosedale, Twin Oaks, Tregaron, and Red Tops, were located here. Alexander Graham Bell and President Grover Cleveland, the neighborhood's namesake, owned such estates, a few of which remain to this day.

The photographic history of DuPont Circle will document the past cultural, social, and architectural entities of this rich and diverse neighborhood. Beginning with large estates that covered hundreds of acres in the 1850s, the area that is Du Pont Circle today slowly developed into an urban neighborhood after use as a Civil War encampment. Splendid photographs exist of this time period, as well as images taken as blocks developed in the 1890s, sometimes as builders built 30 houses at one time.

The neighborhood Forest Hills is set within a heavily treed rolling landscape adjoining Rock Creek Park, first utilized by the Pascataway Indian tribe, and later by Civil War encampments. Mill complexes and large rural estates gave way in the early 1900s to a fine residential community set in the shadow of the National Bureau of Standards complex, where many of the residents could walk to work. Ambassadors, Diplomats, and prominent local residents alike now share many of the splendidly designed houses found in Forest Hills today.

Located at the very edge of the 1792 original city plan by city designer Pierre L'Enfant, the Greater U Street neighborhood of today served for nearly 70 years as orchards and grazing land for animals. However, with the settlement of Camp Campbell during the Civil War at where 6th and U Street is located today, the area quickly became home to thousands of fighting soldiers and then freed men and women.

From the farm and orchard lands of the mid 1880s to the Civil War encampments, from modest wood frame homes to vast residences of Victorian splendor, the area surrounding the closely located Logan, Scott and Thomas Circles has for many years been at the center of a rich history. Comprising a diverse architectural and social heritage, these neighborhoods have played a part in the great story of the capital city and have been home to the workingman and woman, the wealthy, the middle class, and the politically powerful alike.

Once an area consisting of wooded land and scattered farmsteads in the late 18th century, Woodley Park has transformed into an affluent residential neighborhood that has undergone massive growth, and today is one of Washington, D.C.'s most sought-after neighborhoods to reside.

Southwest Washington, D.C. is a defined neighborhood even without a proper name, but the quadrant has a clear border southwest of the U.S. Capitol Building, nestled along the oldest waterfront in the city. Its physical delineations have defined it as a community for more than 250 years, beginning in the mid-1700s with emerging farms. By the mid-1800s, a thriving urban, residential, and commercial neighborhood was supported by the waterfront where Washingtonians bought seafood and produce right off the boats.

New York State

On the eastern edge of the famed New York State finger Lakes is Owasco Lake, a name believed to have been derived from Mohawk and Iroquois tribes referring to "a crossing." Its rich history includes a Native American settlement, an early pioneer farming community, the site of a Victorian-era amusement park, important railroad lines and steamers, and elaborate summer homes, called "camps," owned by local wealthy industrialists.

On the eastern edge of the famed New York State finger lakes is situated Skaneateles Lake, a name believed to have been derived from the Native American Onondaga tribe meaning "long lake." The lake is, in fact, just over fifteen miles long, with an astonishing depth of three hundred fifty feet, and for over a century it was thought to have been one of the purist bodies of water in the world.

Washington, DC

Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic university in America, rests in Washington, D.C. and predates the district's creation by several years. Founded in 1789 and chartered by Congress in 1815, Georgetown experienced many of the same trials faced by the United States, and like the country, triumphed to enjoy extended prestige and prosperity.

Capitol Hill celebrates one of the largest historic districts in the nation and a neighborhood rich in history that shaped a nation and the world. Beginning as a port area on the high plateau near the deep waters of the Anacostia River, Capitol Hill was largely shaped by the early residential development near the Navy Yard. Later home to middle class workers in the late 19th century, Capitol Hill is now one of Washington's most elite neighborhoods.

The Nation's Capitol was obviously central in the county's planning and preparations for World War II, with the creation of new government agencies such as the War Food Administration or the dramatic expansion of existing ones, most of which doubled their number of workers and ordered the construction of hundreds of temporary facilities across the city, and on its treasured Mall.

A nostalgic look at the important buildings lost in the capital city, following the changing transport of the city from horse-drawn streetcars to electric trolleys and steam trains crossing Maryland Avenue

Washington, DC, the nation's capitol, boasts a rich and fascinating history.  Known for its government institutions and monuments, the city is also home to dynamic neighborhoods that have passed through centuries of challenge and change. 

Washington D.C. today is primarily known for its expansive mall and world recognized monuments, but relatively little has been published on the historic neighborhoods where residents have lived since the site of the Nation's Capitol was selected in 1790. By comparing rare vintage photographs to contemporary views, this book paints a fascinating historical portrait of the dynamic neighborhoods supporting the growth and prosperity of the nation's capitol.