Atlas District in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Culture and Commerce
Hub, Home, Heart
— Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail —
The Atlas originally admitted whites only. African American movie-goers traveled elsewhere until 1943, when the Plymouth Theater opened in an old auto showroom at 1365 H Street. Then in 1953 the Supreme Court declared segregation in DC's public accommodations illegal.
But H Street's shops, run by families of many nationalities, had always served all: their working-class neighbors as well as commuters. Most owners, like Meyer Greenbaum of Greenbaum's Bakery, 1361 H Street, lived above or behind the stores and worked long hours. Carroll Barber Shop opened next to Greenbaum's in 1931 as one of H Street's first African American businesses. A few years later Meyer "Mike" Kanter opened I.C. Furniture, selling used and inexpensive goods. (Kanter's son Ted switched to high-end furniture, opening
Beginning in 1951 Jack Napier ran Ultra-Modern Barbership at 1338 for nearly 50 years. Napier is remembered for hiring and training local young men. In the mid-1970s, Marcus Griffith made and sold his patented hair care products at Hairlox, 1315 H Street.
Despite entrepreneurs' post-riots efforts, progress was slow. Then in 2002, in cooperation with H Street Community Development Corporation and the Linden Neighborhood Association, the nonprofit Atlas Performing Arts Center began its large-scale renovations and H Street began its latest revival.
Between 1981 and 2009, the northeast corner of 13th and H Streets hosted the Robert L. Christian Library. Thanks to lobbying by community members the library first opened in 1972 at 1007 H and honored the former teacher who founded the Northeast Neighborhood House. In addition to promoting literacy and academic achievement, Northeast Neighborhood House offered job training for young people, recreation, tutoring, mentorship, and day care for working parents.
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 10.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Notable Places Greater H Street Heritage Trail series list.
Location. 38° 54.019′ N, 76° 59.276′ W. Marker is in the Atlas District in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of H Street Northeast and 13th Street Northeast, on the right when traveling west on H Street Northeast. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 783 13th St NE, Washington DC 20002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Enterprising Families (within shouting distance of this marker); District of Columbia Fire Department (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mediterranean Imports (about 600 feet away); The Changing Faces of H Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hub (approx. 0.2 miles away); The City Woman (approx. ¼ mile away); Brickyards to Buildings (approx. 0.3 miles away); At the Crossroads (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlas District.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 374 times since then and 28 times this year. Last updated on July 7, 2020, by Bruce Guthrie of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on October 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 12. submitted on January 19, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.