In 1860 famed American Civil War photographer Matthew Brady opened his final studio here, naming it the National Portrait Gallery. Brady displayed some of his photographs following the Battle of Antietam becoming the first time images of war available for the general public to view. A New York Times review commended Brady for bringing home “the terrible reality and earnestness of war.” In addition to the gruesome images, several portraits were displayed including of President Abraham Lincoln and future President Ulysses S. Grant.
After extensive research in 2014 a researcher determined one Brady photograph was taken through the window of this studio during the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln on April 25, 1865. The photograph was identified by the crowds and the architecture of Grace Episcopal Church, which sits across the street, as evidence.