Columbia Heights in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A City in Itself
—Columbia Heights Heritage Trail —
Columbia Heights by the mid 1920s was a center of white elite activity and commerce. The elegant, Neoclassical style Riggs Bank branch and the Italian Renaissance style Tivoli Theater opened to great acclaim. Soon after, radio station WRC moved into the bank building, its rooftop tower advertising the wondrous new technology.
Harry Crandall's Tivoli was among the largest and grandest theaters in Washington. People literally danced in the streets the day it opened. The 2,500-seat theater hosted live shows as well as films. It was Washington's first movie house equipped for "talkies," movies with sound.
With these two anchors, Columbia Heights in 1928 was "practically independent of downtown Washington," proclaimed the Washington Post. Then the housing demands of the Great Depression and World War II led some to subdivide the larger houses. New residents in the 1950s demanded more affordable goods and services. Soon the discount department store Morton's arrived, and the number of night spots increased.
Like many other DC theaters, the Tivoli was segregated until forced by the Supreme Court in 1953 to desegregated. In the 1960s its programming shifted to attract local audiences in the now-predominantly African American community. Children enjoyed Saturday matinees for 25 cents, with
More than 200 years ago, city planner Pierre Charles L’Enfant designed a new capital city on the low coastal plain at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, bordered on the north by a steep hill. Today the hill defines Columbia Heights.
Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Heritage Trail takes you on a tour of the lively neighborhood that began as a remote suburb of Washington City. Over time, transportation innovations, starting with streetcars, made Columbia Heights accessible and desirable. Soon, men and women of every background populated the neighborhood, people who changed the world with new technology, revolutionary ideas, literature, laws, and leadership. From the low point of the civil disturbances of 1968, Columbia Heights turned to resident leaders and rose again. Metrorail’s arrival in 1999 provided a boost, reviving the historically important 14th Street commercial corridor. Experience both the new and old Columbia Heights, with all its cultural and economic diversity, as you talk this walk.
Erected 2009 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 3 of 19.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Columbia Heights Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 55.828′ N, 77° 1.943′ W. Marker is in Columbia Heights, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Park Road Northwest and 14th Street NW, on the right on Park Road Northwest. Touch for map. Along the south side of the Tivoli Theater. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3301 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20010, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Amusement Palace (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Street (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Wilson Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Latino Intelligence Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mount Pleasant: The Immigrants' Journey (approx. ¼ mile away); Mount Pleasant Library (approx. ¼ mile away); Turbulence and Change (approx. ¼ mile away); Sacred Heart Academy (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia Heights.
Categories. • African Americans • Communications • Entertainment • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 26, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 78 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 26, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 6. submitted on January 14, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.