LeDroit Park in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Flower Garden of Washington
—LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail —
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 While many McGill houses remain, others have been replaced by rowhouses and apartment buildings.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
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 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 Americans • Man-Made Features •
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.