James Moore Goode Receives Visionary Historian Award

James Goode

James Goode, Courtesy Robert Wiser

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is honored to announce that Dr. James Moore Goode is the second recipient of the Visionary Historian Award. The Visionary Historian award is presented to an individual whose lifetime body of work represents the highest achievement in the study of Washington, D.C. history.

Dr. Goode is the author of six books on Washington, D.C., history, including the best-selling Capital Losses: A Cultural History of Washington’s Destroyed Buildings (1979) and Best Addresses: One Hundred Years of Washington’s Distinguished Apartment Houses (1988). His seventh book, Capital Houses: Historic Residences of Washington, D.C. and Environs, 1735-1965, will be published in partnership with his photographer Bruce M. White in November 2015 by Acanthus Press, New York.

As a curator, he has organized and preserved the Kiplinger Washington Collection, the B.F. Saul Company Collection, the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection, and the Smithsonian Institution Castle, where he oversaw extensive restoration work. As a speaker and lecturer, he has stoked interest in history, especially Washington, D.C. history, for thousands of students and members of the general public.

The Visionary Historian Award was first presented to Kathryn Schneider Smith in 2014. Smith presented the award to Dr. Goode at the Historical Society’s 121st anniversary on the evening of May 27, 2015 in the Carnegie Library at 801 K Street NW.

The Anniversary Party also marked the closing of the exhibit For the Record: Artfully Historic D.C., a juried art competition in which  local artists were asked to capture images of some of D.C.’s most iconic yet vulnerable buildings and places.

Dr. Goode is a long-time member of the Historical Society. He received a Ph.D. in American Studies from the George Washington University in 1995. Born in Statesville, North Carolina, Dr. Goode earned a B.A. from the University of South Carolina in 1964 and an M.A. from the University of Virginia in 1966. After teaching history at George Mason University, he took his passion for the built environment and for images of history to the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.

From 1970 to 1988, as the Smithsonian Castle’s curator, Dr. Goode was responsible for planning, organizing, and directing extensive restorations to the historic building. He also presented lectures, tours and organized exhibits about the building for scholars, docents, and the general public. In addition, he gave dozens of walking tours of Alexandria neighborhoods and the suburbs for the newly established Smithsonian Associates in the 1970s.

In 1988 Dr. Goode resigned from the Smithsonian to start on his Ph.D. program. During this time he worked part time in fine arts and architectural history consulting, with service on boards of historic house museums and organizations including the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., the White House Historical Association, and the Washington National Monument Society. He prepared five exhibitions for the Kiplinger Washington Editors art gallery and one for the National Building Museum based on Best Addresses. Most recently he has curated private collections for the B.F. Saul Company and Albert H. Small.

In addition to Capital Losses and Best Addresses, Dr. Goode is noted for the definitive The Outdoor Sculpture of Washington, D.C. (1974), which was renamed Washington Sculpture for the second edition in 2009. Known as a generous mentor to young historians, Dr. Goode has deposited important research collections at the Library of Congress, the American Institute of Architects, the George Washington University, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.