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

Mansions, Parks, and People

Cultural Convergence

 

—Columbia Heights Heritage Trail —

 
Mansions, Parks, and People Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
1. Mansions, Parks, and People Marker
Inscription. On your right is Josephine Butler Parks Center, home of Washington Parks & People, a network of groups devoted to DC and its parks. The network's 1927 mansion, which once housed the Hungarian delegation, was part of an embassy row envisioned by Mary Foote Henderson for this area. Henderson built a "castle" across 16th street for her family, and commissioned important architects to create an enclave worthy of important residents. Meridian Hill Park was also a result of her influence. In the 1980s, the park (by then also called Malcolm X Park) had become forbidding and dangerous, and the mansion was vacant. Then Friends of Meridian Hill came together in 1990. By the end of the decade, when Parks & People bought the mansion, the park again thrived. The first phase of the National Park Service's restoration of the park to its original design was completed in 2009.

The Parks Center, housing nonprofit groups, memorializes Josephine Butler (1920-1997), a union and political activist and educator who led Washington Parks & People at the time of her death. Just ahead at the corner of Euclid Street is the Embassy of Ecuador, formerly the Netherlands Embassy. Please proceed through the park and turn right on 16th Street to reach Sign 17. Along the way you'll see Warder-Totten House at 1633 16th. George Oakley Totten Jr. architect of
Mansions, Parks, and People Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
2. Mansions, Parks, and People Marker
the Parks Center, salvaged most of a house designed by his teacher renowned architect H.H. Richardson, and rebuilt it here in Washington.
 
Erected by Cultural Heritage DC. (Marker Number 16.)
 
Location. 38° 55.347′ N, 77° 2.111′ W. Marker is in Washington, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 15th Street south of Euclid Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. The marker is in front of The Josephine Butler Parks Center at 2437 15th Street. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Visionary and Park Champion (within shouting distance of this marker); Creating the "City Beautiful" (within shouting distance of this marker); Design Challenges (within shouting distance of this marker); Park Designers (within shouting distance of this marker); Campus to Army Camps and Back Again (within shouting distance of this marker); An American Meridian (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); College Hill (about 300 feet away); A Hilltop for Heroes and Horse Thieves (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Washington.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsNative Americans
 
Dancing in the Park image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
3. Dancing in the Park
In a June 1994 CHAMMP (Columbia Heights - Adams Morgan - Mount Pleasant) event organized by Liz Lermans Dance Exchange, dancers of all ages ring Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park's pool. (Washington Parks and People)
Winder House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
4. Winder House
Two views of the Winder House in its original k St. location, before George Totten moved portions to 16th Street.
Winder House - Indoors image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
5. Winder House - Indoors
Mary Henderson's Castle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
6. Mary Henderson's Castle
Mary Henderson's castle as seen from Meridian Hill Park.
Dancing in Front of Malcom X image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
7. Dancing in Front of Malcom X
Students dance before a banner of Malcolm X during a 1971 cultural fair shortly after activist Angela Davis suggested renaming the park.
Stokely Carmichael image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
8. Stokely Carmichael
Stokely Carmichael center, participates in an African Liberation Day March to Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, May 1978.
A Park for <b>All</b> People, and Dogs Too... image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
9. A Park for All People, and Dogs Too...
Children participate in a celebration of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, January 15, 2000.
Our Park, Our Planet image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
10. Our Park, Our Planet
Advertising a 1990 Friends of Meridian Hill concert.
Cleaning Up image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
11. Cleaning Up
Friends of Meridian Hill volunteers clean the reflecting pool in the lower part of the park, early 1990s.
The Josephine Butler Parks Center image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
12. The Josephine Butler Parks Center
This Italian Renaissance revival house at 2437 15th Street was designed by George Oakley Totten for Mary Foote Henderson.
Welcome to the Josephine Butler Park's Center image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
13. Welcome to the Josephine Butler Park's Center
...

"This historic Renaissance Revival mansion was built in 1927 as potential site for the home of the Vice President. It has house the embassies of Brazil and Hungary.

Today it is the headquarters of Washington Parks and People which share's the space with a group of dynamic nonprofit organizations dedicated to advanced inner-city community revitalization, reconnecting people with the land, and using the land to reconnect people with each other." (Sign on the door at 2437 15th Street)
El Dorado Gold image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
14. El Dorado Gold
El Dorado Gold -- a Pre-Columbian Tolima stylized sculpture in honor of indigenous peoples of the Americas by Allen Uzikee Nelson. Sculpture dedication - February 2008.
Granny D Tree image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
15. Granny D Tree
The stump of a tree dedicated to Granny D.
Doris Haddock, known as Granny D., was born on January 24, 1910. Josephine Butler was born January 24, 1920.
The Granny D Tree Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
16. The Granny D Tree Plaque
The Granny D Tree
Given to her on April 29, 2001
In recognition of her and
Josephine's Birthday of January 24th
Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
17. Map
You Are Here.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 526 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 7, 2016.
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