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“Neighbors for the Knickerbocker Memorial in Adams Morgan Commemorate Lives Lost and Changed Forever 100 Years Ago by Collapse of the Knickerbocker Theatre Under 28’ of Snow”


Thanks to Nancy for sending “photographs taken after the disaster at 18th & Columbia by neighborhood news photographer at the time Hugh Miller”

From a press release:

“Neighbors for the Knickerbocker Memorial in Adams Morgan Commemorate Lives Lost and Changed Forever 100 Years Ago by Collapse of the Knickerbocker Theatre Under 28′ of Snow

98 Lives Lost, 130 Injured, in the Most Deadly Single Incident in DC History.

Neighbors for the Knickerbocker Memorial in Adams Morgan will commemorate lives lost and changed forever 100 years ago by collapse of the Knickerbocker Theatre roof under 28 feet of snow. At the public gathering a sculpture will be dedicated by local artist Cesar Maxit to the 98 people who died, 133 injured and to first responders to what remains the deadliest single incident in DC’s history.

The gathering also includes a reading of names and ages of those who died, historic photos, news articles and stories at the site of the tragedy in what is now the Adams Morgan Plaza. Most of the orchestra were crushed under the opulent theater, as was former Congressman Andrew Jackson Barchfeld and several prominent political and business leaders.

WHEN:  Sat., January 29 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The theater roof collapsed Jan. 28, 1922 at 9:12 pm.  The rescue effort lasted over 24 hours.

WHERE:  At the site of the theater collapse–now the Adams Morgan Plaza on the SW Corner of 18th St. NW and Columbia Rd. NW in Adams Morgan.

WHAT:  At the memorial will be historians, artists, musicians, neighbors and some descendants who lost great grandparents, and other family members will remember those whose lives were cut short on a wintery evening while watching the silent comedy, “Get-rich-quick Wallingford.”

Full Program:

  • An exhibit of historical photographs and newspapers documenting the first days of the disaster
  • Speakers highlighting the snowstorm, the roof collapse and rescue efforts.
  • Reading of the names and ages of the 98 people who died in the Knickerbocker Theatre disaster.
  • Personal stories of survivors and descendants collected by a long-time researcher.
  • A first-hand account from an Adams Morgan resident and descendant
  • The Humanities Truck with a display of disaster photographs and the video taken immediately following the disaster
  • Dedication of the Memorial Sculpture

To learn more about the disaster see the Neighbors for the KnickerbockerMemorial.com website with historic photos, newspaper articles, names and ages of those who died and other resources. A memorial display in the lobby of the Mt. Pleasant Library will be available to view by January 24.

Neighbors for the Knickerbocker Memorial is a group of Adams Morgan neighbors who have come together to honor the history of the Knickerbocker Theatre and work toward a permanent memorial at the site, to honor the lives of those who died there. Co-chairs: Sandra Reischel and Nancy Shia. Lead researcher: Debbie K. Chambers”

Michael also shares some incredible photos:

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