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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Brightwood in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Early Entrepreneurs

Battleground to Community

 

— Brightwood Heritage Trail —

 
Early Entrepreneurs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
1. Early Entrepreneurs Marker
Inscription.  
Apple and Peach Trees once covered the slopes to your left, some 40 acres' worth, all planted by noted horticulturalist John Saul (1819-1897). In the 1870s Saul was one of Brightwood's largest landowners. In addition to these orchards, he operated nurseries for ornamental trees and greenhouse plants near old Brightwood racetrack and on Seventh Street, and developed a nationally renowned seed catalogue business.

Saul originally came to Washington in 1841 from County Cork, Ireland, to work for Andrew Jackson Downing, then one of the nation's most important landscape architects. Saul assisted Downing as they landscaped the city's key public spaces: the National Mall, the Ellipse, and Lafayette Square. Saul's descendants went into real estate, founding the B.F. Saul Company and also Chevy Chase Bank.

To your left is the rear of the Rittenhouse, which opened in 1957 as the area's first grand large-scale apartment building. (The Mid-century Modern style of the Rittenhouse is best seen from 16th Street, one block to your left.) Constructed by Morris Pollin and Sons, it was part of the wave of post-World War II residential
Early Entrepreneurs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
2. Early Entrepreneurs Marker
building that filled in most of the District's remaining rural settings. Pollin's son Abe, the developer, philanthropist, and long-time owner of the Washington Wizards, got his start building houses and apartments in the late 1940s/.

Noted Washington architect Joseph Abel designed the Rittenhouse emphasizing glass and natural light, and centering the tall building in its grassy space.
 
Erected 2008 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 8.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Horticulture & ForestryMan-Made Features. In addition, it is included in the Brightwood Heritage Trail series list.
 
Location. 38° 57.918′ N, 77° 2.012′ W. Marker is in Brightwood in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of 14th Street Northwest and Rittenhouse Street Northwest, on the left when traveling north on 14th Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1401 Rittenhouse Street Northwest, Washington DC 20011, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Never Again Such Homes At the Price! (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); An African American Enclave (about 700 feet away); Military Road School (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Stevens
Maple Grove image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
3. Maple Grove
John Saul's Italianate country house at Maple Grove, which stood near today's Georgia Avenue and Emerson Street.
Close-up of photo on marker
(approx. ¼ mile away); Aunt Betty's Story (approx. ¼ mile away); Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens (approx. ¼ mile away); Scale Model of Fort Stevens (approx. ¼ mile away); School Days (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brightwood.
 
Also see . . .
1. Saul, John–(1819-1897). Biography at the Smithsonian Libraries. (Submitted on March 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 

2. Morris Pollin, Builder, District Philanthropist. (JPG image) Washington Post Obituary, December 18, 1977. (Submitted on March 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 

3. Brightwood Heritage Trail. (Submitted on March 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
 
John Saul, horticulturalist image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
4. John Saul, horticulturalist
Close-up of photo on marker
B.F. Saul Company Archives
The cover and a page of Saul's Catalogue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
5. The cover and a page of Saul's Catalogue
Close-up of images on marker
B.F. Saul Company Archives
A New Note in Luxury Living image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
6. A New Note in Luxury Living
Morris Pollin and Sons advertised the new Rittenhouse, in 1956.
Close-up of image on marker
The Washington Post
Abe and Morris Pollin image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
7. Abe and Morris Pollin
Abe Pollin, seen above in the early 1970s, took over the construction business found by his father Morris (right).
Close-up of photos on marker
DC Public Library
Gardeners image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
8. Gardeners
Gardeners pose at Maple Grove, John Saul's Brightwood estate.
Close-up of photo on reverse of marker
B. F. Saul Company Archives
The Rittenhouse Apartments image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
9. The Rittenhouse Apartments
The Rittenhouse image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
10. The Rittenhouse
Mid-century Modern
The Rittenhouse Apartments image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
11. The Rittenhouse Apartments
Glass and Light
You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
12. You Are Here
Close-up of Brightwood Heritage Trail Map on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 567 times since then and 14 times this year. Last updated on December 24, 2019, by Bruce Guthrie of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on March 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 12, 2020