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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Adams-Morgan in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Roots of Reed-Cooke

Roads to Diversity

 

—Adams Morgan Heritage Trail —

 
The Roots of Reed-Cooke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, March 7, 2009
1. The Roots of Reed-Cooke Marker
Inscription. In 1947, the building on your left opened as the National Arena, a public roller rink and bowling alley. It also hosted professional wrestling, roller derbies, and rock concerts. In 1986 it became the Citadel Motion Picture Center, where portions of Peggy Sue Got Married, Gardens of Stone, and other movies were filmed. In 1994 MTV recorded its town hall meeting with President Bill Clinton in the studio here in Reed-Cooke.

Reed-Cooke’s earliest African American settlers moved here from what is now Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park. The came in the late 1880s after Mary Foote Henderson evicted them from her property. Reed-Cooke became industrial as well as residential, with warehouses and car dealerships. The Church of the Savior’s missions and King Emmanuel Baptist Church (originally Meridian Hill Church), behind you on Kalorama Road, supported the community’s spiritual and social needs.

Like much of this area, Reed-Cooke experienced decline in the 1950s and 1960s. The Adams Morgan Planning Committee called its small industrial section a “deteriorating influence,” and wanted to demolish or adapt it along with nearby houses. But residents worked to fend off urban renewal and the Adams Morgan Organization, Jubilee Housing, Adams Morgan Community Development Corporation, King Emmanuel Baptist Church,
"National (later Citadel) Arena roller rink, 1949" image. Click for full size.
The Historical Society of Washington, DC, 1949
2. "National (later Citadel) Arena roller rink, 1949"
Photo on reverse of marker.
and many others mustered funding to preserve buildings and create affordable apartments.

In 1981 ANC Commissioner Edward G. Jackson, Sr., coined “Reed-Cooke” for the area between 16th and 18th Streets, and led a community effort to make it official. The name, like Adams Morgan’s, recognizes two schools: the Marie H. Reed Community Learning Center (Champlain Street), and the H.D. Cooke Elementary School (17th and Euclid).
 
Erected 2005 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 3 of 18.)
 
Location. 38° 55.292′ N, 77° 2.321′ W. Marker is in Adams-Morgan, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Kalorama Road, NW just east of 17th Street, NW. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1631 Kalorama Road, NW, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Washington Meridian (about 700 feet away but has been reported missing); Art for the People (about 700 feet away); Life on the Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Hilltop for Heroes and Horse Thieves (approx. 0.2 miles away);
The Harris Teeter Supermarket image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, March 7, 2009
3. The Harris Teeter Supermarket
currently the primary tenant of the old Arena building.
An American Meridian (approx. 0.2 miles away); Visionary and Park Champion (approx. 0.2 miles away); Creating the "City Beautiful" (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Adams-Morgan.
 
More about this marker. [Caption for photo group in upper right]:
Reed-Cooke in 1949, clockwise from bottom left: corner, Champlain and Kalorama; west of Onatario; and Champlain St. car dealer

[Caption, photo in lower left]:
The first tenant board of Jubilee Housing’s Mozart building (1630 Fuller St.) meets to discuss cooperative management in 1978.

[Caption, photo on right, center]:
Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts in The Pelican Brief, filmed at Citadel Studio.

[Caption, photo in lower center]:
Skaters enjoy the National Arena, 1979.

[Caption, photo on lower right]:
Demonstration by the Thunderbirds, professional roller derby team, at the arena, 1983.
 
Also see . . .  Adams Morgan Heritage Trail markers that have been entered in the Historical Marker database. (Submitted on March 20, 2009.)
 
Additional keywords. urban development, community organizing
 
Categories. African AmericansEntertainmentSports
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,735 times since then and 87 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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