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

See You at the Center

A Fitting Tribute

 

—Logan Circle Heritage Trail —

 
See You at the Center Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
1. See You at the Center Marker
Inscription.

The City's Jewish Community Center opened here in 1926. Its grand presence one mile north of the White House expressed Jewish residents' prosperity and their growing contributions to the federal city and the nation. With American Jews routinely barred from social clubs, the JCC promoted Jewish identity and offered a gym, swimming pool, symphony orchestra, choral society, and basketball league. High school students thronged to dances held on the rooftop.

Housing developer Morris Cafritz, a co-founder in 1912 of the local Young Men's Hebrew Association, led a fundraising campaign to build the JCC and served as its president for eight years. The center thrived until the 1950s, when many members moved to Washington's new suburbs. In 1969 it relocated to Rockville, Maryland and sold this building to the DC Government. When later generations of Jewish Washingtonians close city living, they launched a new independent DCJCC. Cafritz' son, Calvin, helped raise funds to buy back and renovate the building, which reopened in 1996 as the Washington DCJCC.

One block north of this sign is the Church of the Holy City, the national church of the Swedenborgian denomination. Dedicated in 1896, the church was designed by Herbert Langford Warren, a Swedenborgian and founder of Harvard University's School of Architecture.

Three
See You at the Center Marker reverse image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 2, 2017
2. See You at the Center Marker reverse
blocks north is the House of the Temple, headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, USA. Completed in 1915, it was DC's first major building by John Russell Pope, who later designed the National Archives and the Jefferson Memorial. The building's museums and library are open to the public.

Reverse:
The Logan Circle Neighborhood began with city boosters' dreams of greatness. The troops, cattle pens, and hubbub of the Civil War (1861-1865) had nearly ruined Washington, and when the fighting ended, Congress threatened to move the nation's capital elsewhere. So city leaders raced to repair and modernize the city. As paved streets, waster and gas lines, street lights, and sewers reached undeveloped areas, wealthy whites followed. Mansions soon sprang up around an elegant park where Vermont and Rhode Island Avenues met. The circle was named Iowa Circle, thanks to Iowa Senator William Boyd Allison. In 1901 a statue of Civil War General (and later Senator) John A. Logan, a founder of Memorial Day, replaced the park's central fountain. The circle took his name in 1930. The title of this Heritage Trail comes from General Logan's argument that Memorial Day would serve as "a fitting tribute to the memory of [the nation's] slain defenders."

As the city grew beyond Logan Circle, affluent African Americans gradually replaced
See You at the Center Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
3. See You at the Center Marker
whites here. Most of them moved on during World War II, and their mansions were divided into rooming houses to meet a wartime housing shortage. By the 1960s, with suburban Maryland and Virginia drawing investment, much of the neighborhood had decayed. When civil disturbances erupted after the 1968 assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it hit bottom. Ten years later, however, long-time residents, newcomers, and new city programs spurred revival. A Fitting Tribute: Logan Circle Heritage Trail takes you through the neighborhood's lofty and low times to introduce the array of individuals who shaped its modern vitality.
 
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 1 of 15.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington DC, Logan Circle Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 54.666′ N, 77° 2.186′ W. Marker is in Dupont Circle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 16th Street and Q Street, on the right when traveling north on 16th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1600 16 St NW, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Thomas Family Home (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alma Thomas Residence
Cornerstone Laying image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
4. Cornerstone Laying
President Calvin Coolidge tells the crowd at the 1925 cornerstone-laying of the Jewish Community Center, “They are planting a home for community service.”
Close-up of photo on marker
(about 500 feet away); Charlotte Forten Grimke House (about 600 feet away); St. Luke's Episcopal Church/Alexander Crummel (about 600 feet away); The Dupont Circle area has always been (about 600 feet away); Advancing the Race (about 600 feet away); After the Civil War (about 800 feet away); Independence of Kazakhstan (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dupont Circle.
 
Categories. Churches & ReligionFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsMan-Made Features
 
DCJCC re-opening<br>1996 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
5. DCJCC re-opening
1996
Washington Post Publisher Katharine Graham, front row center, philanthropist Calvin Cafritz, fourth from left, and major supporters celebrate the DCJCC re-opening.
Close-up of photo on marker
Sphinx image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
6. Sphinx
The grand ornamentation of the House of the Temple on 16th St. at Q includes the Sphinx, which tempted a sunbather in 1993. (note: the House of The Temple is actually at 16th and S.)
Close-up of photo on marker
The House of the Temple image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
7. The House of the Temple
Close-up of photo on marker
Church of the Holy City image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
8. Church of the Holy City
Swedenborgians gathered at Church of the Holy City for a national convention around 1930.
Close-up of photo on marker
Summer Camp image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
9. Summer Camp
Needy Children depart for Center Camp in Virginia created by the Jewish Community Center, the Washington Community Chest, and the National Park Service, 1937
Close-up of photo on reverse of marker
DCJCC - Irwin P. Edlavitch Building image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
10. DCJCC - Irwin P. Edlavitch Building
Church of the Holy City image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
11. Church of the Holy City
“Searching for Life's Purpose
READ
Emanuel Swedenborg”
Dragon image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
12. Dragon
Church of the Holy City
House of the Temple image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
13. House of the Temple
Sphinx image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
14. Sphinx
Double Headed Eagle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
15. Double Headed Eagle
Deus Meumque Jus
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 2, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 363 times since then and 21 times this year. Last updated on December 2, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1. submitted on January 2, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   2. submitted on December 2, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on January 2, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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