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

The Flower Garden of Washington

Worthy Ambition

 

—LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail —

 
The Flower Garden of Washington Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
1. The Flower Garden of Washington Marker
Inscription. A Peaceful Landscape With City Conveniences for wealthy Washingtonians: that was the goal of the men who made LeDroit Park.

Brothers-in-law Amzi L. Barber and Andrew Langdon purchased land here, and in 1873 hired local aIchitect/builder James McGill to erect substantial houses. Each McGill house was unique, though all were Victorian in style with turrets, bay windows, and elaborate porches. Greenery and flowers between the unfenced Yards created boundaries and privacy. Barber lived in the grand house you see across Sixth Street. While many McGill houses remain, others have been replaced by rowhouses and apartment buildings.

A fence surrounding LeDroit Park kept it exclusive. The fence also stopped residents of Howardtown, an African American community to LeDroit's north, from cutting through. But the fence's days were numbered because the city refused to install sewers and pave streets here while it remained In 1887 after real estate developer Charles E. Banes purchased land in Howardtown, he enlisted neighbors to tear down a section of the barrier. “Howardtown emptied its whole energetic life upon the spot” noted a reporter. Finally in 1891 Amzi BaIber transferred LeDroit Park's streets to the District government, the fence came down for good, and streets were renamed to match the city system. African
The Flower Garden of Washington Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
2. The Flower Garden of Washington Marker
Americans soon began buying houses in LeDroit Park. By 1893 the neighborhood was integrated. Records show it was predominantly African American by 1920.

In 1910 the Howard Theatre, built for black audiences, opened across, Florida Avenue. Performers often found lodging at rooming houses such as 525 T Street when they couldn't stay at white-owned hotels. The legendary venue was shuttered for many years, but thanks to public and private investment it re-opened as a performance and restaurant space in 2012.
 
Location. 38° 54.938′ N, 77° 1.209′ W. Marker is in LeDroit Park, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Florida Avenue (U.S. 29) near 6th Street, on the right when traveling west. 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. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (within shouting distance of this marker); Howard Theatre (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); Willis Richardson Residence (about 400 feet away); Armed Resistance (about 500 feet away); Dunbar Theater/Southern Aid Society (about 500 feet away); T Street Elites
The Flower Garden of Washington Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
3. The Flower Garden of Washington Marker
(about 600 feet away); Grief Turns to Anger (about 700 feet away); Griffith Stadium Site (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in LeDroit Park.
 
Categories. African AmericansMan-Made Features
 
Amzi L. Barber image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
4. Amzi L. Barber
Amzi L. Barber, a Howard University founder and professor and his brother in law real estate broker Andrew Langdon.
Close-up of photo on marker
Andrew Langdon image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
5. Andrew Langdon
Real estate broker Andrew Langdon's father and son were named Le Droit.
Close-up of photo on marker
Amzi Barber's House, 531 Sixth Street, NW. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
6. Amzi Barber's House, 531 Sixth Street, NW.
Note that this image does not resemble the Italianate house at 531 6th Street.
Close-up of image on marker
1877 Map of LeDroit Park image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
7. 1877 Map of LeDroit Park
This 1877 Map of LeDroit Park shows its early street names “Le Droit Avenue” is now second street.
Close-up of map on marker
1883-4 Sachse Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
8. 1883-4 Sachse Map
Mapmaker Adolph Sachse included LeDroit Park's disputed fence in this 1883-84 map.
Close-up of map on marker
Harewood Apartment Building for “The Best Class of Colored Citizens” image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
9. Harewood Apartment Building for “The Best Class of Colored Citizens”
Charles E. Banes, a Howardtown developer, advertised apartments at Third and V Streets in 1901.
Close-up of map on marker
525 T. Street image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
10. 525 T. Street
Howard Theatre performers once roomed at 525 T Street seen here awaiting renovation in 1973.
Close-up of map on marker
Florida Avenue Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
11. Florida Avenue Baptist Church
Florida Avenue Baptist Church at 623 Florida Avenue to your left was founded in 1912 to serve LeDroit Park and make a difference in the community. These 930s congregants posed in front of the original church building, since replaced.
Close-up of map on marker
531 Sixth Street image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
12. 531 Sixth Street
(across sixth street from the marker)
525 T. Street image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
13. 525 T. Street
LeDroit Park Sign image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
14. LeDroit Park Sign
The Howard Theatre image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
15. The Howard Theatre
The Jazzman image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
16. The Jazzman
Brower Hatcher's sculpture atop the Howard Theatre
The Jazzman image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 8, 2015
17. The Jazzman
This modern sculpture replaces one of Apollo playing the lyre that originally surmounted the facade of the Howard Theatre.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 204 times since then and 18 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 June 16, 2016.
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