Dupont Circle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Development in the neighborhood
— Diverse Visions | One Neighborhood —
Development in the neighborhood got its first start in 1871 when the Board of Public Works, under the leadership of Alexander “Boss” Robey Sheperd, installed sewers, paved roads, extended gas pipes and planted trees here and throughout other neighborhoods. Speculators bought up land, and the bold began to build.
At 2000 Massachusetts Ave., note the red Victorian mansion built in 1881 by the perennial GOP presidential candidate James G. Blaine and later owned by George Westinghouse, inventor of the airbrake. At 2020 Massachusetts Ave. (left) stands the one of the most expensive private houses ever built in DC, the Thomas Walsh mansion – since 1954 the Indonesian Embassy. Walsh, a miner, struck gold in Colorado. His daughter Evalyn married into the McLean family, owners of the Washington Post; a colorful, generous lady, Evalyn is remembered as the last private owner of the Hope Diamond, now in the Smithsonian Institution.
The dignified Beaux-Arts mansion at 2009 Massachusetts Ave. was home to Nicholas Longworth, speaker of the House (1926-1931), until his death in 1931, and to his wife Alice Roosevelt
Fire Fact | January 1, 1891
Box 319 sounded at 11:35 am for a fire in the residence of Hon. James G. Blaine, who had been defeated by Grover Cleveland for the presidency in 1884. Nearly the entire DC Fire Department soon arrived to defeat the blaze that threatened the Blaine Mansion at 2000 Massachusetts Ave.
Fire Department information and images courtesy of Capitol Fire Museum
Artist | Jody Eric Kammer
The artist's comments have been vandalized and are unreadable.
Fire Alarm Boxes such as this one (originally painted red) were installed in the District after the Civil War. Telegraphs transmitted the box number (top) to a fire alarm center. This system was used until the 1970s when the boxes were converted to a telephone system. By the 1990s, the callbox system had been replaced by the 911 system and was abandoned.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 319.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Charity & Public Work • Government & Politics • Horticulture & Forestry. In addition, it is included in the DC, Art on Call, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #22 and #24 Grover Cleveland series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is January 1, 1891.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1913 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20036, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James G. Blaine Mansion (within shouting distance of this marker); Lajos (Louis) Kossuth (within shouting distance of this marker); Theodore Roosevelt (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Lajos (Louis) Kossuth (within shouting distance of this marker); Hungarian Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Excerpt from Walt Whitman's "The Dresser" (1865 version) and "We Embrace" by E. Ethelbert Miller (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dewi Saraswati (about 300 feet away); Indonesian Embassy / Walsh-McLean Mansion (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dupont Circle.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 4, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 284 times since then and 12 times this year. Last updated on February 9, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1. submitted on November 4, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. 2. submitted on February 9, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3, 4. submitted on November 4, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.