Washington in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Treading the Boards
A Fitting Tribute
—Logan Circle Heritage Trail —
The Studio Theatre, on the corner of 14th and P Streets since 1987, anchors the Logan Circle/14th Street artistic community. The theatre, founded by director and educator Joy Zinoman and set designer Russell Metheny in 1978, originally rented space in wood sculptor Margery Goldberg's Zenith Square Gallery complex of rowhouses nearby on Rhode Island Avenue. An array of artists worked (and sometimes lived) at Zenith, finding inspiration among their peers until the city forced them out in 1986, citing zoning violations. But Studio Theatre had left six years earlier for affordable space in a former car dealership nearby at 1401 Church Street. Another showroom, across 14th Street from this sign, was the first of three adjoining buildings renovated by the theater.
In 1980 the pioneering Source Theatre, founded by Bart Whiteman three years earlier, moved into a former auto supply store at 1809 14th. A few years later Source took over a one-time Oldsmobile showroom at 1835.
Although Washington never had the manufacturing activity of other cities, it developed a stock of industrial spaces. Here they came in the form of auto showrooms and service shops as well as printing shops and other light industry. By the 1970s, with the car showrooms long gone, these spacious, affordable buildings beckoned.
To return to the Metro Red line, walk one block north on Q Street and turn left. The Dupont Circle Station is six blocks west on Q Street.
The Logan Circle Neighborhood began with city boosters’ dreams of greatness. The troops, cattle pens and hubbub of the Civil War (1861-1865) had nearly ruined Washington, and when the fighting ended, Congress threatened to move the nation’s capital elsewhere. So city leaders raced to repair and modernize the city. As paved streets, water and gas lines, street lights and sewers reached undeveloped areas, wealthy whites followed. Mansions soon sprang up around an elegant park where Vermont and Rhode Island Avenues met. The circle was named Iowa Circle, thanks to Iowa Senator William Boyd Allison. In 1901 a statue of Civil War General (and later Senator) John A. Logan, a founder of Memorial Day, replaced the park’s central fountain. The circle took his name in 1930. The title of this Heritage Trail comes from the General Logan’s argument that Memorial Day would serves as “a fitting tribute to the memory of [the nation’s]
As the city grew beyond Logan Circle, affluent African Americans gradually replaced whites here. Most of them moved on during World War II, and their mansions were divided into rooming houses to meet a wartime housing shortage. By the 1960s, with suburban Maryland and Virginia drawing investment, much of the neighborhood had decayed. When civil disturbances erupted after the 1968 assassination of the Revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it hit bottom. Ten years later, however, long-time residents, newcomers, and new city programs spurred revival. A Fitting Tribute: Logan Circle Heritage Trail takes you through the neighborhood’s lofty and low times to introduce the array of individuals who shaped its modern vitality.
A Fitting Tribute: Logan Circle Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided, 1.5 mile tour of 15 signs offers about two hours of gentle exercise. Free explanatory keepsake guidebooks are available at businesses and intersections along the way. For more on DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CulturalTourism DC.org.
[List of collaborators and staff of The Heritage Trail.]
Erected by DC Cultural Heritage, Logan Circle Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 15.)
Location. 38° 54.576′ Click for map. In front of Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1415 14th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20005, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. It Takes a Village (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Automobile Row (about 300 feet away); 6 Logan (about 400 feet away); Belford V. Lawson and Marjorie M. Lawson Residence (about 500 feet away); Pratt House (about 500 feet away); The Artistic Life (about 500 feet away); Logan Circle (about 500 feet away); Bethune Museum-Archives (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Washington.
Categories. • Entertainment • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 271 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. 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.