Robert Pohl

Robert Pohl worked for many years as a computer programmer but recovered from that and became a full time stay-at-home dad. With his son now in school, he has expanded his horizons and become a self-taught historian. He has written books about his house as well as Emancipation in the District of Columbia. You can reach Robert at Robert[at]

Robert Pohl
22 Apr 2019


Lost Capitol Hill: Explosion in the Alley

Having now spent two weeks finding the good in Schott’s Alley, it’s time to go back to my real love: scandals. And Schott’s Alley had its share. In 1911, not only did a gang of purse snatchers make their home there, but it harbored an honest-to-god murderer. But first, the purse snatchers. On January 8, […]

15 Apr 2019


Lost Capitol Hill: Schott’s Alley (Pt. 4)

While researching Schott’s Alley over the last month or so, I kept running into mentions of an “Americanization School”— an entirely new concept to me. What is an Americanization School? Before the First World War, there was some concern that certain immigrants were not being integrated into the country quickly enough and that they needed […]

08 Apr 2019


Lost Capitol Hill: Schott’s Alley (Pt. 3)

Over the last two weeks, I have looked at a long-gone alley in NE Washington, Schott’s Alley. While the press at the time was almost uniformly negative, the longer piece by Pauline Pry was particularly dour, to the point that it seemed that the author had some kind of ax to grind. A very different […]

01 Apr 2019


Lost Capitol Hill: Schott’s Alley (pt. 2)

Last week, I gave an overview of Schott’s Alley, which existed for many years in the shadow of the Senate Office Building. As a look at the census records showed, it was the dominion of the laborers and the recently arrived in the city. Unsurprisingly, Schott’s Alley rarely appeared in the pages of the news […]

25 Mar 2019


Lost Capitol Hill: Schott’s Alley

I was recently reading a book about alley life in Washington and found myself looking at a rather remarkable picture: the pediment of the Senate Office Building rising above a decrepit alley. As it turns out, I was not the only one impressed by this image. It is used on the book’s dust cover as […]

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