Shaw in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Midcity at the Crossroads
—Shaw Heritage Trail —
Across the intersection stands the tower of O Street Market. When the market opened in 1881, and refrigerators had not been invented, people shopped here daily for everything from live chickens to fresh tomatoes. At first the vendors were German immigrants, but by the 1960s, most were African American. Damaged in the riots of 1968, the market was restored in 1980 but lost its roof in a 2003 snow storm.
On this side of the street, landscaper John Saul began planting fruit trees in 1852. His son, B. Francis Saul, later opened a real estate that became the B.F. Saul Company and Chevy Chase Bank. During the Civil War, the Union Army camped here at Wisewell Barracks and Hospital.
Rowhouses facing Sixth Street eventually replaced the camp, along with the Henry, Polk, and Central High schools for White students. Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, class of 1913, is Central’s best-known graduate. Central High School moved in 1926 to a grand new facility astride the 13th Street hill (now Cardozo High School). In the 1950s, this entire block was leveled for a playground.
Completed in 1964, the playground was dedicated to the memory of President John F. Kennedy. Kids eager for play space clambered on its 1888 steam locomotive, a tugboat, and two surplus Air Force jets. But in the following decades, the playground’s
[ Photo Captions, front of marker: ]
In the refurbished market of 1980, shoppers found fruit, fresh fish, and more. (Washingtoniana Division, D.C. Public Library.)
John Saul grew fruit trees here. (B. F. Saul Collection.)
The girls of Washington [later Central] High School class of 1886. (Historical Society of Washington, D.C.) By 1908 three schools, left occupied this block. (Washingtoniana Division, D.C. Public Library.)
J. Edgar Hoover, Central High School’s most famous graduate (1913), and the debate team. (Paul K. Williams, Kelsey and Associates Collection.)
A young boy sat atop a surplus fire boat during a Kennedy Playground carnival, August, 1968. (Washingtoniana Division, D.C. Public Library.)
[ Photo caption on reverse of marker:]
At the center of the first Kennedy Playground was a soapbox derby racetrack, 1964. (Washingtoniana Division, D.C. Public Library.)
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 10 of 17.)
Location. 38° 54.505′ N, 77° 1.309′ Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Immaculate Conception Catholic School (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (about 500 feet away); Seventh Street Develops (about 500 feet away); The Fires of 1968 (about 500 feet away); Spiritual Life (about 800 feet away); Reaching for Equality (approx. 0.2 miles away); “Sweet Daddy” Grace (approx. 0.2 miles away); Carter G. Woodson House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Shaw.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . .
1. J. Edgar Hoover. (Submitted on November 8, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. O Street Market Redevelopment. (Submitted on November 8, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Other Shaw Heritage Trail markers in the Historical Marker database. (Submitted on November 9, 2009.)
Additional keywords. racial segregation.
Categories. • Education • Entertainment • Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 835 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on July 29, 2016.