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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Logan Circle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Presidents’ Church

A Fitting Tribute

 

—Logan Circle Heritage Trail —

 
The Presidents' Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2015
1. The Presidents' Church Marker
Inscription.
Front:
Through The 1960s President Lyndon B. Johnson and his family worshipped across the street to your left at National City Christian Church. The First Family sat near the front in the pew deemed safest by their Secret Service agents. The church hosted the state funeral for Johnson in 1973. and its stained-glass windows memorialize the former president with a Medicare symbol, a NASA rocket, and a pair of hands planting a tree to symbolize Lady Bird Johnson's beautification campaign. Another president, James A. Garfield, was a member of the congregation a century earlier, when the church was known as Vermont Avenue Christian Church and was located around the corner. Garfield often preached there.

Formed in 1843 as DC's first Disciples of Christ congregation, National City Christian Church moved here in 1930. The building was designed by John Russell Pope, noted architect of the National Archives. Jefferson Memorial. and National Gallery of Art The church's magnificent organ is second only to the Washington National Cathedral's in size.

On Thomas Circle, behind you, is the Washington Plaza Hotel. Opened as the International Inn in October 1962, the building was designed by Morris Lapidus. an architect best known for the extravagant resort hotels that came to define Miami Beach in the 1950s.
Defaced The Presidents' Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 2, 2017
2. Defaced The Presidents' Church Marker
Skyline Inn. another mid-century modern Lapidus design, opened in November 1962 in Southwest DC.

Just below Thomas Circle off Massachusetts Avenue lies an alley known as Green Court, once home to the Krazy Kat, a Prohibition-era speakeasy that attracted edgy young artists of the 1920s.

Back:
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 whites here. Most of
The Presidents' Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
3. The Presidents' Church Marker
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 13 of 15.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington DC, Logan Circle Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 54.404′ N, 77° 1.907′ W. Marker is in Logan Circle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 14th Street and Vermont Avenue when traveling south on 14th Street. Touch for map. Just above Thomas Circle, at the Lutheran Church. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20005, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Care for the City (within shouting distance of this marker); Major General George H. Thomas
Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
4. Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson
President Lyndon B. Johnson with his wife Lady Bird wait to greet pastor Dr. George R. Davis after Sunday service at National City Christian Church, 1964.
Close-up of photo on marker
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Striving for Equality (about 600 feet away); Bethune Museum-Archives (about 700 feet away); It Takes a Village (about 800 feet away); The Artistic Life (approx. 0.2 miles away); This House was Occupied by Alexander Graham Bell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Treading the Boards (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Logan Circle.
 
Categories. Churches & ReligionEntertainmentIndustry & CommerceMan-Made Features
 
Lyndon Johnson's Funeral image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
5. Lyndon Johnson's Funeral
Pall bearers carry the casket holding the body of former President Lyndon B. Johnson from National City Christian Church on January 25,1973. Lady Bird Johnson. Pat and Luci Nugent, Charles and Lynda Robb, and President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon follow.
Close-up of photo on marker
Electric Lights at Thomas Circle 1879 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
6. Electric Lights at Thomas Circle 1879
New-fangled electric lights were demonstrated in Thomas Circle during the 1879 unveiling of the Statue of Civil War General George Henry Thomas.
Close-up of image on marker
Building the Dome image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
7. Building the Dome
Workers complete the dome that covered the International Inn's swimming pool in 1962.
Close-up of image on marker
Sailfish image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2015
8. Sailfish
To promote the 1975 International Boat Show in DC, Joan Morris demonstrated a Sailfish in the International Inn's pool.
Close-up of image on marker
All Soap Abandon Ye Who Enter Here.<br>Syne of Ye Krazy Kat image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
9. All Soap Abandon Ye Who Enter Here.
Syne of Ye Krazy Kat
Jazz Age hipsters a the Krazy Kat club in Green Court off Massachusetts Ave. just south of Thomas Circle. about 1920.
Close-up of image on marker
Cleon “Throck” Throckmorton at the easel image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
10. Cleon “Throck” Throckmorton at the easel
Artist, club owner, and later Broadway stage designer Cleon Throckmorton is at the easel.
Close-up of image on marker
National City Christian Church image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
11. National City Christian Church
The Pool<br>at the International Inn image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2015
12. The Pool
at the International Inn
Balance Gym image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2015
13. Balance Gym
The building containing Balance Gym replaced the block on which the building, No. 3 Green Court, that housed the Krazy Kat Club sat.
The Green Lantern image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2015
14. The Green Lantern
This gay bar, opened in 1991, continues the tradition of hipness in Green Court in a building that co-existed with the Krazy Kat Club.
The Krazy Kat Club image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress (Chronicling America), 1922
15. The Krazy Kat Club
This 1922 photo of the Krazy Kat Club appeared in the Washington Times on Feb. 4th 1922. The building containing today's Green Lantern can be seen in the distance.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 20, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 257 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on December 2, 2017, by Devry Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on September 20, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   2. submitted on December 2, 2017, by Devry Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on September 20, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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