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

Woodies Comes to F Street

Civil War to Civil Rights

 

— Downtown Heritage Trail —

 
Woodies Comes to F Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 6, 2010
1. Woodies Comes to F Street Marker
Inscription.  
"Alvin,
Washington, D.C.,
is the place for us."


So wrote Samuel Walter Woodward to his business partner, Alvin Lothrop, in 1879. The young entrepreneurs were looking for a new location for their innovative dry goods store near Boston, Massachusetts. Unhappy with the bargaining common in stores of the day, they were the first to charge a fixed price and to allow returns.

Woodward recognized the new vitality and promise of the nation's capital. Since the end of the Civil War just 14 years earlier, Washington had new importance as the center of a strong federal government. It had been thoroughly modernized, with broad paved streets and avenues, sewers, gaslights, and thousands of new trees. Americans were flocking to the newly important capital to take government jobs and start businesses.

Woodward and Lothrop joined them in 1880 and opened their store near Seventh and Pennsylvania Avenue. In 1887, they moved their establishment, now enlarged to a modern "department store," to this location, spearheading the development of F Street as the city's premier downtown shopping boulevard. Affectionately
Woodies Comes to F Street Marker - photo on reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 6, 2010
2. Woodies Comes to F Street Marker - photo on reverse
"Crowds throng F Street near 'Woodies', left, at holiday time in the 1940s." Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library.
known as "Woodies," the store was a Washington tradition until its closing in 1996.

[Photo captions:]

above
Samuel W. Woodward, left, and Alvin M. Lothrop, right, about 1880.
(The Historical Society of Washington, DC).

above
Woodward and Lothrop's first store at 705 Market Space.
(The Historical Society of Washington, DC).

[Three pictures] left to right
The soda fountain and main aisle of "Woodies" await customers, while an advertisement, right, places the store among the city's major attractions.
(The Historical Society of Washington, DC).

 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number .7.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Downtown Heritage Trail series list.
 
Location. 38° 53.847′ N, 77° 1.566′ W. Marker is in Penn Quarter in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of F Street Northwest and 10th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling west on F Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 F Street Northwest, Washington DC 20004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker.
The Woodward & Lothrop Department Store Building image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 6, 2010
3. The Woodward & Lothrop Department Store Building
- on F Street between 10th & 11th Streets, NW
The Woodward and Lothrop "Woodies" Colorization Project (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Patrick's Parish (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Abraham Lincoln (about 300 feet away); John J. Donovan, Jr. (about 300 feet away); John Wilkes Booth’s Escape (about 400 feet away); Site Of The Old Carroll Hall (about 400 feet away); The Christian Index (about 500 feet away); Knights of Pythias (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Penn Quarter.
 
Also see . . .  Woodward & Lothrop. (Submitted on October 25, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
 
Woodies Comes to F Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 6, 2010
4. Woodies Comes to F Street Marker
Woodies Comes to F Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 6, 2010
5. Woodies Comes to F Street Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 28, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 24, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 815 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 24, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Sep. 30, 2020