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Fairmount Heights in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The William Sidney Pittman House

William Sidney Pittman and Portia Washington Pittman

 

The Fairmount Heights African American Historic Trail

 
The William Sidney Pittman House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 29, 2019
1. The William Sidney Pittman House Marker
Inscription.  William Sidney Pittman was born in Montgomery Alabama in 1875 to a laundress and an unknown father. At the age of seventeen, he began studying at Tuskegee Institute located in Tuskegee Alabama. He later attended Drexel Institute, Philadelphia Pennsylvania and received a degree in Architectural and Mechanical Drawing in 1900. He returned to the Tuskegee Institute where he taught until 1905. In 1905, he opened his own architectural office in the Shaw neighborhood in Washington, D.C. In 1907, he married Portia Washington, the daughter of his former mentor, Booker T. Washington. After their marriage, the Pittman's moved to the house that he designed in the developing suburb of Fairmount Heights. The house was known to the family as "The White Top". It possibly derived the name from the white roof decorations. Actively involved in the progress of this new community, William Sidney Pittman established the Fairmount Heights Mutual Improvement Company. Portia Pittman, a professional musician, gave frequent piano recitals at their new home.

The Pittman House was a front-gabled dwelling that stood on high grounds overlooking the boundary between
The William Sidney Pittman House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 29, 2019
2. The William Sidney Pittman House Marker
Prince George's County and the District of Columbia. The gable front was sheltered by a one-story porch that wrapped half way around the east side elevation of the house. There was a one-story shed-roof projecting bay at the end of the wraparound porch; its three windows lit the dining room of the house.

In 1906, Pittman won a national competition for the design of the Negro Building at the Tercentennial Exposition at Jamestown, Virginia. This exposition building completed in 1907, assured Pittman widespread fame and respect in a new but increasing group of African-American architects. Other buildings and designs included the Zion Baptist Church located in Washington, D.C. and the nearby Deanwood Chess House, located at the Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The Pittman's left Washington at the end of 1912 moving to Dallas, Texas where he spent the rest of his life. The house was sold in 1915 to Ellen Adams and was still owned by her descendants until 2012. Damaged by fire, the house was demolished in 2013.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities marker series.
 
Location. 38° 53.762′ N, 76° 54.797′ W. Marker is in Fairmount Heights, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is on Eastern Avenue Northeast just
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north of 62nd Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 505 Eastern Avenue Northeast, Capitol Heights MD 20743, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William Sidney Pittman and Portia Washington Pittman House Site (a few steps from this marker); Doswell Brooks House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cornelius Fonville House (about 700 feet away); Henry Pinckney House (about 800 feet away); John S. Johnson House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Charity Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bungalow Row (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Original Municipal Center (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairmount Heights.
 
Categories. African AmericansArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicEducation
 

More. Search the internet for The William Sidney Pittman House.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 28, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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