Deanwood in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Designed to Compete
A Self-Reliant People
—Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail —
One of the city's first academically trained Black architects, William Sidney Pittman (1875-1958), designed this understated structure. Pittman trained at Tuskegee Institute, where he won the support of the founder Booker T. Washington and later taught. In 1905 resigned from Tuskegee to move to Washington and establish a private architectural practice. By the fall of 1906 Pittman had entered and won the competition for the "Negro Building" at the Jamestown (Virginia) Ter-centennial Exposition. In 1907 he married Washington's daughter Portia. The couple returned to this area and lived in a house Pittman designed in nearby Fairmont Heights, Maryland, an all-Black community he helped plan. Among Pittman's DC commissions were Garfield Elementary School and the 12th Street Colored Young Men's Christian Association (now Thurgood Marshall Center for Science and Heritage).
Pittman also designed the building to the right of the church, home of the Deanwood Chess House, a branch of the Big Chair Chess Club since 1991. The club uses chess to teach children and adults that their
Erected by Cultural Touism DC. (Marker Number 12 of 15.)
Location. 38° 54.167′ N, 76° 56.405′ W. Marker is in Deanwood, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Sheriff Road, NE east of 43rd Place, NE. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20019, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. With These Hands (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Whirl on the Ferris Wheel (approx. half a mile away); Fort Mahan (approx. 0.7 miles away); Original Federal Boundary Stone NE 9 (approx. one mile away); Fort Chaplin (approx. 1.1 miles away); Woodlawn Cemetery (approx. 1.2 miles away); In Honor of the Men and Women of Fairmount Heights who Served in World War II (approx. 1.3 miles away in Maryland); Original Federal Boundary Stone Northeast 7 (approx. 1.5 miles away in Maryland). Click for a list of all markers in Deanwood.
More about this marker.
William Sidney Pittman, wife Portia, and daughter Fannie Virginia (Library of Congress).
William Sidney Pittman's "Negro Building" at the exposition marking the 300th Anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, 1907 (Library of Congress).
Portia Washington Pittman, right, helped launch the S.S. Booker T. Washington, named for her father, in 1942. At left is Mary Mcleod Bethune with Marian Anderson at center and DC Recorder of Deeds Dr. William Thompkins between Anderson and Pittman (Library of Congress).
In May 2005, Senior Master Greg Acholonu, standing, visited and played 22 games simultaneously (Collection of Eugene Brown).
A typical Saturday, below, at the Deanwood Chess House, a branch of the Big Chair Chess Club: 12 boards are always ready for adults and children to play (Collection of Eugene Brown).
Also see . . .
1. William Sidney Pittman in Texas.
2. Church Collapse in Blizzard. The February 10, 2010 article noted the roof of Joshua's Temple First Born Church collapsed because of the heavy snow and a fallen tree.
Categories. • African Americans • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,351 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 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.