Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
History Preserved and Adapted
Georgetown began in the 1740s as a tobacco port, where ships departed for Britain, Europe and the West Indies filled with flour, lumber, coal, grain and, above all, tobacco. The fine harbor brought visitors and goods and, with them, prosperity and acclaim. Warehouses and mills flourished here, but eventually the waterfront became saturated with noxious odors, soot and waste as industries produced an unsightly collection of abandoned warehouses, junk yards, salt piles and parking lots. In 1949 construction of an elevated highway required demolition of several historic structures. Dismay at the loss of these buildings hastened passage of the Old Georgetown Act of 1950, which preserved the character of Georgetown above M Street - but not below. Finally, in 1967 the Georgetown waterfront was designated a National Historical Landmark, but misuse and neglect continued for years until the courts allowed rezoning.
A number of creative architects and developers responded by preserving and adapting the remaining old buildings with imaginative designs. Architect Arthur Cotton Moore was one of the first. In 1970 he converted a derelict 19th-century warehouse on 31st Street to the lively office and art center known as Canal Square. In 2003 developer Anthony Lanier, with architects Gary F. Handel and Shalom Baranes, preserved the brick
Fire alarms such as this one (originally painted red) were installed in the District after the Civil War. In most boxes, the alarm was activated by opening a door on the front of the box and pulling a lever. An automatic telegraph system transmitted the box number to a central office that directed the closest fire station to dispatch a fire truck to the vicinity of the call box. After almost 100 years, the system began to decline in the 1960s with the advent of two-way car radios
with support from
DC Commission on the Arts and humanities, DC Creates Public Art Program
District Department of Transportation
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
Citizens Association of Georgetown
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC.
Location. 38° 54.149′ N, 77° 3.553′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on K Street, NW, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 31st Street, NW, Washington DC 20007, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Herring Highway (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Georgetown Historic District (about 600 feet away); Mule Power (about 700 feet away); Georgetown and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (about 700 feet away); At All Hours (about 700 feet away); Creating a National Park (about 700 feet away); The Georgetown House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
Categories. • Architecture • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 20, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 150 times since then and 18 times this year. Last updated on January 27, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 20, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. 4. submitted on January 27, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland.