Adams Morgan in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Tragedy at 18th and Columbia
Roads to Diversity
— Adams Morgan Heritage Trail —
But back in 1922, 18th and Columbia witnessed a tragedy. On January 28—diagonally across the street from this sign—the roof of Harry Crandall's Knickerbocker Theater collapsed under the weight of a 28-inch snowfall, killing 98 and injuring hundreds more. Soon after, the city passed stricter building codes.
Crandall then built the Ambassador Theater on the same spot. Once that theater lost audiences to television it was sold for redevelopment. It briefly hosted rock concerts, and the night before the October 19667 March on the Pentagon, it hosted an anti-war rally with poet Robert Lowell, novelist Norman Mailer, and others.
The Ambassador was razed in 1970, setting off a battle over its lot. Drawing on a 20-year of tradition of community organizing, residents defeated plans for a gas station. In 1978 Perpetual Savings and Loan won the spot, agreeing to hire a bilingual staff, offer special loans to area residents,
The business district that began developing in the 1910s included an early Peoples Drug Store where McDonald's is in 2005. In 1948 Charles Lazarus opened what would become Toys 'R' Us in his father's bike shop at 2455 18th Street. Herbert Haft founded Dart Drug at 1801 Columbia Road in 1954. Lazarus and Haft, pioneers of high-volume discounting, oversaw phenomenal business expansion through the 1990s.
Erected 2005 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 9.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Disasters • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Adams Morgan Heritage Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1922.
Location. 38° 55.388′ N, 77° 2.566′ W. Marker is in Adams Morgan in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is on Adams Mill Road Northwest north of Columbia Road Northwest, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1813 Adams Mill Road Northwest, Washington DC 20009, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A People Without Murals Is A Demuralized People (a few steps from this marker); "Suburban" Development (within shouting distance of this marker); Serving the Neighborhood The Artistic Life (about 500 feet away); Walter Pierce Park (about 600 feet away); Kalorama Triangle (about 600 feet away); Lanier Heights (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Ontario Theater (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Adams Morgan.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 13, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 159 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 13, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.