4340 Connecticut Avenue, NW
“Since moving out of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in March 2017, Washingtoniana has been ensconced at the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square (our original home) and at the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue,
Our third and final location (until MLK reopens in 2020) is in a former bank. The space we occupy at 4340 Connecticut Avenue NW was originally Columbia Federal Savings, which opened on January 17, 1977.
But even earlier than 1977…going back almost half a century…the space that our collections occupy was the parking lot for the legendary Connecticut Avenue Hot Shoppes. (more…)
Streets of Washington, written by John DeFerrari, covers some of DC’s most interesting buildings and history. John is the author of Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats, published by the History Press, Inc. and also the author of Lost Washington DC.
At first glance, this circa 1880 view of E Street NW between 13th and 14th Streets seems like any other old-time street scene. A jumble of 19th century storefronts crowd a busy street. Yet in the decades after the Civil War, this block, affectionately known as “Rum Row” for its many saloons, was one of Washington’s liveliest and most notorious. Possibly a dozen or more pedestrians can be seen as “ghosts,” grouped in pairs or lounging in doorways, reduced to fleeting blurs by the photograph’s slow exposure time. Though still going strong at the time of this photo, the decadent culture of Rum Row would eventually be stamped out by righteous city officials in the name of progress–just as the infamous “Strip” on nearby 14th Street would similarly be eradicated 100 years later.
Originally a line of federal town houses, Rum Row changed character dramatically during the Civil War, when soldiers swarmed the streets of Washington looking for cheap entertainment. The row’s previously respectable homes and commercial establishments were gradually replaced with saloons and gambling joints, which remained for decades to come. The row’s central location made it the rendezvous for all elements of society. “On the row a man met and mingled with the elite, the bon-ton, the busy man-about-town, the Bohemian, the poet laureate, the soldier of fortune, and everything but the bootlegger, a type that at that date had not come into existence,” wrote The Washington Post in 1921. (more…)
Sen. John S. McCain III by Steve Pyke, 2005, inkjet print. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © 2005, Steve Pyke.
From a press release:
“The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery recognizes the life and legacy of late Senator and former presidential nominee John S. McCain III with a photograph by the British-born photographer Steve Pyke. The portrait will be installed this morning in the museum’s In Memoriam space on the first floor.
McCain, who was born in 1936, was an established politician and Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy. Before entering politics, he demonstrated great commitment to his country by enduring five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War. Following his release from prison in 1973, he later relocated to Arizona where he began a career in politics. A long-time Republican, McCain was the winner of the party’s presidential nomination in 2008. His lifetime commitment to public service is marked by his two years in the House of Representatives and his work as a six-term elected Senator of Arizona. He also served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. Despite his battle with brain cancer, McCain served in the Senate until his death. He is survived by his wife and seven children. (more…)
1213 U Street, NW
“MPD reports U St. between 11th and 13th streets, NW will be blocked from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., due to the Ben’s Chili Bowl 60th Anniversary Block Party. Parking restrictions are also expected along the route. Please use alternate routes.”
“Join us for a Tribute to Virginia Ali!
DATE: Wednesday, August 22nd
TIME: 11:00AM- 3:00PM – Press Conference followed by Ben’s Block Party, featuring Maysa, Rare Essence, EU featuring Sugarbear, Soul Searchers, Peace Makers, BSlade, MelloT, Ozone and more!”
“At 7:30PM the celebration continues at the Lincoln Theater with Ben’s Chili Bowl’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Gala, “A Tribute To Virginia Ali” benefitting the Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation (www.benschilibowlfoundation.org), whose mission is to positively impact and provide service to our community by giving back to the neighborhoods where we live and work. All proceeds from all Ben’s Chili Bowl’s on Wednesday, August 22nd will go to the Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation.”<
Tickets are now available for our 60th Anniversary Celebration Gala at @TheLincolnDC! On August 22, join us from 7:30-10:30pm for performances by @kennylattimore, @faithevans, @MAYSALEAK, @BSladeNow, @RayshunLaMarr, and others!
— Ben's Chili Bowl (@benschilibowl) August 14, 2018
via google street view
Ed. Note: We first spoke about this genius back in 2014 so we’re due for the reminder!
I wanted to share a quirky use of Google Maps I just discovered that I’ve lost too many hours of productive work to.
I may be very late to the game (or the last person to discover this) but I recently found that in the street view of Google Maps, a clock will sometimes pop up next to the date of the image that you can click on to see previous times Google’s Street View Car was there.
I’ve seen it go back as far as 2007, and it’s been kind of delightful using it to track the ‘before and after’ of some of DC’s most recently developed areas. I’ve been shocked to see how different some places looked only 10 years ago. (more…)
I just wanted to share the incredible story of Leonard Hyater Jr. Anyone who passed by 19th & M street on weekday mornings knew him – if not by name, then by his warm smile, pleasant disposition, and dedication to selling Street Sense – he was there every morning, Monday through Friday.
A few years ago he was profiled in the paper, where readers learned that he used to work as a mortgage loan officer before falling on hard times and becoming homeless. Determined to get back on his feet, Leonard began selling Street Sense newspapers in 2012. (more…)
Christian Broder, via GoFundMe
Wendy sends a heartbreaking update about Millie’s General Manager Christian Broder. From the GoFundMe:
“We are heartbroken to share that last night Christian passed away. He was comfortable with Molly by his side and surrounded by loved ones. We are so grateful for your love and support over the last two weeks as Christian fought so hard.
Molly and the Broder family would like to extend a special thank you to the medical teams at Piedmont Hospital and Georgetown University Hospital for their tireless efforts and guidance.”
“Broder’s brother, Nicholas, told an ABC affiliate in Atlanta that a car pulled up that they thought was their Uber, but instead a man jumped out with a gun and robbed them. (more…)
Update on the iconic Uptown sign in Cleveland Park from the Cleveland Park Historical Society’s Carin Ruff:
“Last summer, AMC Theaters floated a proposal to replace the iconic UPTOWN sign with an AMC sign. After widespread outcry, they dropped that proposal. Last month, they submitted an application to the DC Historic Preservation Review Board to replicate the UPTOWN sign with LED lights inside red letters that would look like the existing letters, and to add smaller AMC branding to the marquee.
The CPHS Architectural Review Committee heard a presentation last week from the sign specialist hired by AMC and came away convinced that replicating the sign in LED was an acceptable solution, given the extreme deterioration of the existing sign. In addition to problems with the neon in the current sign, the attachment points of the letters to the wall are in danger of failing and there are environmental contaminants on the ledge where they sit. We should also note that we cannot prove that the current neon sign is the original one from 1936; the Historic Preservation Office isn’t sure, we aren’t sure, and the theater can only document the current sign back to 1968.
The proposed LED replacement would closely replicate the look of the current UPTOWN sign in color, warmth, reflectivity of the light elements on the surrounding body of the letters, etc., while using substantially less electricity to run 24/7. (more…)