Columbia Heights in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Views of Justice
— Columbia Heights Heritage Trail —
On your left once stood Belmont, an impressive stone mansion built in 1883 by entrepreneur Amzi L. Barber, "America's Asphalt King." Barber headed the Education Department at Howard University at the time of its founding in 1867. He soon bought land from the university to build the exclusive LeDroit Park neighborhood. Next he entered the asphalt paving business, and came to dominate it nationwide. Barber also worked with Ohio Senator John Sherman to create the Columbia Heights subdivision.
For years Belmont was a landmark that greeted streetcar riders cresting the 14th Street hill. Justice William R. Day was one of the powerful men who lived nearby.
After Barber's death, developer Harry Wardman bought Belmont, only to replace it in 1915 with Wardman Courts, then the city's largest luxury apartment complex. In 1921 new owners named it Clifton Terrace. The once-glamorous complex did not age well, and succeeding owners deferred maintenance and crowded more tenants into the units. By the 1960s, the situation was so bad that, with help from CHANGE, Inc. and others, tenants organized and stopped paying
Social activist Rev. Channing Phillips's Housing Development Corporation renovated Clifton Terrace in the late 1960s. In 2003 the buildings, once again named Wardman Courts, reopened as condominiums and rental units.
Erected 2009 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 11.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Education • Government & Politics • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Columbia Heights Heritage Trail, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities 🎓 series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1883.
Location. 38° 55.349′ N, 77° 1.83′ W. Marker is in Columbia Heights in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is on Clifton Street Northwest just west of 13th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1309 Clifton St NW, 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. On the Heights (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Justice vs. Injustice Francis L. Cardozo High School (about 600 feet away); Drum and Spear Bookstore Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Fedora (approx. ¼ mile away); A Place to Grow (approx. ¼ mile away); Mix of Cultures (approx. ¼ mile away); Mansions, Parks, and People (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia Heights.
Additional keywords. Supreme Court decisions
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 63 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 16, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.