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

Bloomingdale

Worthy Ambition

 

—LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail —

 
Bloomingdale Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
1. Bloomingdale Marker
Inscription.

You are standing in the heart of Bloomingdale. Noted DC developer Harry Wardman, responsible for 180 Bloomingdale houses, was one of many builders who built here between 1890 and 1910.

These Victorian rowhouses were designed for well-to-do families. The houses' first floors were raised for privacy and separation from muddy streets. Basements housed maids' quarters. Towers or attics added grandeur. Upstairs sleeping porches helped residents survive sweltering DC summers before air conditioning was invented. Bay windows offered a view down the street. Numbers 2103-2133 First Street were designed and built by Thomas Haislip in 1902. He and his family lived in number 87 V Street, the grand house across V Street. Architect/builder Francis Blundon built the houses at numbers 115-127, across First Street.

Prominent Washington businessman and activist Flaxie Pinkett grew up at 122 V Street. At age 14 Pinkett began working for her father, founder of the successful real estate and insurance firm John R. Pinkett, Inc. She took over the company in 1958, and became a much-honored member of the city's business establishment. In 1981 she was the first African American, and the first woman, named "Man of the Year" by the Washington Board of Trade.

The Reservoir Market at First and U Streets served Bloomingdale
Bloomingdale Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
2. Bloomingdale Marker
in the 1960s. There young Barry Cohen lived with his parents above their store and sold food, cigarettes, sweaters, coats, and holiday turkeys. The neighbors "would look out for me," Cohen recalled. Everyone watched over each other."

Discover More...
Turn right into the alley off V Street to find a hidden gem: Crispus Attucks Park. After the 1970s closing of a C&P Telephone warehouse on this site, the community persuaded C&P to donate the property for a park and arts center. A fire destroyed the center in 1990, but the park remains, cared for by its neighbors. Return to the Heritage Trail (Sign 11) at First St. and Rhode Island Ave.

Reverse:
LeDroit Park and its younger sibling Bloomingdale share a rich history here. Boundary Street (today's Florida Avenue) was the City of Washington's northern border until 1871. Beyond lay farms, a few sprawling country estates, and undeveloped land where suburban communities would rise. Nearby Civil War hospitals and temporary housing for the formerly enslaved brought African Americans to this area in the 1860s. Howard University opened just north of here in 1867. Boundary Street (today's Florida Avenue) was the City of Washington's northern edge until 1871.

Around this time, a Howard University professor and trustee and his brother-in-law, a real estate
Bloomingdale Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
3. Bloomingdale Marker
speculator, began purchasing land from Howard University to create LeDroit Park, a suburban retreat close to streetcar lines and downtown. It took its name from the first name of both Barber's son and father-in-law. Bloomingdale was developed shortly thereafter.

For its first two decades, wealthy whites set up housekeeping in LeDroit Park. By 1893, African Americans began moving in. Soon LeDroit Park became the city's premier black neighborhood. Bloomingdale remained a middle- and upper-class white neighborhood until the 1920s, when affluent African Americans began buying houses in the area south of Rhode Island Avenue.

Among the intellectual elites drawn here was poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. The trail's title, Worthy Ambition, comes from his poem, "Emancipation": Toward noble deeds every effort be straining./Worthy ambition is food for the soul!

Although this area declined in the mid-20th century as affluent homeowners sought newer housing elsewhere, revitalization began in the 1970s. The stories you find on Worthy Ambition: LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail reflect the neighborhood's -- and Washington's -- complicated racial history and the aspirations on its citizens.

Worthy Ambition: LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided, 2.5-mile tour
Bloomingdale Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
4. Bloomingdale Marker
of 16 signs offers about 90 minutes of gentle exercise. For more DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
 
Erected 2015 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 10 of 16.)
 
Location. 38° 55.083′ N, 77° 0.71′ W. Marker is in Bloomingdale, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of V Street Northwest and 1st Street NW, on the right when traveling east on V Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Separate Schools (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dividing Line (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fathers and Sons (approx. 0.2 miles away); Court Nullifies Racial Covenants (approx. ¼ mile away); Water for the City (approx. ¼ mile away); Government Girls (approx. ¼ mile away); A Voice from the South (approx. ¼ mile away); Christian Fleetwood and Sara Fleetwood Residence Site (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bloomingdale.
 
Also see . . .  Crispus Attucks Park. (Submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
 
Categories. African AmericansArchitectureIndustry & CommerceWomen
 
Crispus Attucks Park image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
5. Crispus Attucks Park

Crispus Attucks Park


Crispus Attucks Park is a private community that is owned and maintained by the Crispus Attucks Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to operating and maintaining the park for the community. It is open to all who follow the rules below.

Park Rules

· Use of the park is entirely at your own risk
· Dogs must be on a leash at all times
· Take all trash and dog waste with you
· No alcohol, drugs, camping, open flames, vehicles or illegal activities permitted on premises
· Park use permits are required for groups over 20 people and commercial groups
· Please be respectful of our neighbors and keep noise to reasonable levels


To learn more about Crispus Attucks Park, make a donation, to obtain a park use permit, or explore volunteer opportunities, please visit us at crispusattucksparkdc.org. Crispus Attucks Park is not maintained by the D.C. Government and is funded entirely by community donation.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 5, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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