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

Mount Pleasant Library

Village in the City


—Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail —

Mount Pleasant Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
1. Mount Pleasant Library Marker
Inscription.  When the Mount Pleasant Library, behind you, opened in 1925, crowds flocked to the Classical style building. Many had campaigned long and hard for this community centerpiece. The Carnegie Corporation, funder of public libraries in Mount Vernon Square, Southeast, and Takoma Park, spent extra on this branch so that it would fit in with the mansions and churches lining 16th Street. The city hired noted New Yorker Edward L. Tilton, architect of Carnegie libraries nationwide and the Ellis Island immigration station. The handsome library continues as a learning and gathering space, especially for immigrant residents enjoying its foreign-language collections.

During the Great Depression (1929-1941), local artist Aurelius Battaglia dressed up the children's reading room with "Animal Circus," murals funded by President Franklin Roosevelt's Public Works of Art program. Later Battaglia worked for Walt Disney Studios on Dumbo and Pinocchio and illustrated dozens of children's books.

The church at 3146 16th Street opened in 1916 as the modest, brick Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church, South. A decade later the
Mount Pleasant Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
2. Mount Pleasant Library Marker
congregation enlarged the building in the Classical style to match the new library and changed its name to Francis Asbury Methodist Church. After 40 years, the church followed the majority of its members to the Maryland suburbs, and Meridian Hill Baptist Church relocated here from Adams Morgan.

In the park across from this sign is a memorial to Guglielmo Marconi, co-winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize in physics for contributions to the invention of wireless telegraphy. Marconi's innovations led to the development of modern radio.

Image captions:
The Mount Pleasant Library's circulation area, 1925.

Aurelius Battaglia, left, created these elephants for the library before he went on to draw for Disney's film Dumbo.

Enjoying the first Mount Pleasant Youth Arts Fair, top, at the library, 2000.

Seniors, right, take an exercise class at the library, 1982.

Laying the cornerstone for the Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1916, and the original design for the church, right, from a contemporary postcard.

Tucked into a bend in Rock Creek Park on the breezy heights above central Washington, Mount Pleasant was one of the city's earliest suburban developments. It began as a village of government clerks mainly from New England, and
Mount Pleasant Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
3. Mount Pleasant Library Marker
stretched from 17th Street east to Seventh Street. Later it attracted prominent citizens to its site along fashionable 16th Street, and eventually yielded the area east of 16th Street to Columbia Heights. But that's only on the map. Mount Pleasant's boundaries depend on who you are and where you came from.

The arrival of the streetcar transformed the village into an urban enclave. Working people and newcomers to Washington began to call Mount Pleasant home in the mid-1900s. Its varied citizenry earned it the nickname "little U.N." By the 1970s Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan were recognized as the heart of the Latino immigrant community.

Mount Pleasant activists have often been on the cutting edge of important civic issues, and artists and musicians have been part of its daily life. While the neighborhood has changed with the city, some things remain constant. Children consider the National Zoo and Rock Creek Park their personal playgrounds, and residents shop and greet each other on Mt. Pleasant Street. Colonial Revival mansions, early apartment buildings, and rowhouses remain remarkably intact. A stroll along the 17 signs of Village in the City: Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail will introduce you to it all. Welcome!

Rev. Dr. O.B. Langrall and his wife Isabel (fourth from left) pose with the Francis Asbury Church Ladies' Bible Class, around
Marconi Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
4. Marconi Memorial
1950. Collection of Edwin H. Langrall
Erected 2006 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 3.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Carnegie Libraries, and the Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 55.833′ N, 77° 2.197′ W. Marker is in Mount Pleasant, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 16th Street Northwest and Lamont Street Northwest on 16th Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1600 Lamont Street Northwest, Washington DC 20010, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sacred Heart Academy (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mount Pleasant: The Immigrants' Journey (about 400 feet away); Mount Pleasant Street, ca. 2004 (about 400 feet away); The First Bodega (about 400 feet away); Upheaval and Activism (about 500 feet away); Streetcar Suburb (about 600 feet away); At Home and Abroad (about 700 feet away); Turbulence and Change (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mount Pleasant.
Categories. ArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicChurches & Religion
Closeup of Marconi Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
5. Closeup of Marconi Memorial

More. Search the internet for Mount Pleasant Library.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 21, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 24, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 88 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on March 8, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 24, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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