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Thomas Point Dawn (Paul McGehee)
Thomas Point Dawn (Paul McGehee)
Old Arlington Beach - 1927 (Paul McGehee)

"Old Arlington Beach - 1927" by Paul McGehee. Arlington, Virginia's Potomac shore playground of the 1920's, Arlington Beach was a recreational spot with a man-made white-sand beach, swimming and amusement park. Difficult to imagine that this once existed but for a brief few years in the 1920s, near the foot of the Highway Bridge (presently the location of the 14th Street Bridge) over the Potomac River, close to where the Pentagon stands today. Opening to the public on May 30, 1923, many a lazy summer day was spent there by residents of the National Capital region. Beachgoers could change in the bath houses and bathe in the calm waters of the Potomac, rent canoes, or just pleasantly enjoy the breeze while sunbathing. The adjacent amusement park featured the "Bowler Dips", a wooden roller coaster built in 1925, as well as an airplane ride, ferris wheel, a race track, a carnival area with numerous arcade attractions...and a beautiful carousel, with carved wooden horses which brought smiles to the faces of kids and adults alike. There was also a large round building housing a partially open-air Dance Pavilion, surrounded by eateries. Imagine dancing to a live band while the enticing smell of hot dogs filled the air! Picnics were fun family get-togethers at Arlington Beach....filled with laughter, good food and good times. Such were the carefree days of summer in the 1920s at Arlington Beach. But, the good times were soon to come to an 1925, next to the amusement area, there opened a small airport called Hoover Field (where the Pentagon is now located). Hoover was known as one of the most dangerous air fields in the country in those early days of aviation, with many obstructions surrounding the airstrip. It was not uncommon that beachgoers would witness crashes of the small planes on a regular basis! The airport was needed, however, and grew with each coming year. In 1929, the Washington Airport Corporation bought Arlington Beach for additional landing space...and all of a sudden, after just 6 years of existence...Arlington Beach was no more. Everything was either removed or torn down to make way for Hoover Field's expansion...including the big wooden roller coaster. Not a trace of the old days of sun, sand and shore remained. "Old Arlington Beach - 1927" is faithfully reproduced from Paul's original color pencil acrylic paint artwork as an archival quality print issued in a strictly limited edition of only 2,000 pieces each hand-signed by the artist. Print image size: 10 1/2" x 26 1/4".

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