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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)
 

It Takes a Village

A Fitting Tribute

 

—Logan Circle Heritage Trail —

 
It Takes a Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
1. It Takes a Village Marker
Inscription.

After the Civil Disturbances following the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968, 14th Street appeared largely abandoned by day. By night, however, residents witnessed scenes of the “world's oldest profession,” Since the 1950s, when prostitution migrated here from downtown DC, men in cars from around the region seeking women caused traffic jams. This trade flourished because prostitutes were often bailed out of jail within hours and returned to the streets. In addition three police districts intersected at 14th and L Streets, so instead of making arrests, officers often simply shooed prostitutes and their customers into someone else's district. “You don't want your crime rate to go up,” one officer told a reporter in 1989, “so you make them go somewhere else.” On one notable summer night that year, a police sergeant trying to send them “somewhere else” marched 24 women all the way to the 14th Street Bridge. Undaunted, the women returned in cabs.

Area residents finally had had enough. Leading the battle was the Logan Circle Community Association. The association formed shortly after the neighborhood received its 1972 listing on the National Register of Historic Places. To fight prostitution, LCCA members photographed customers, affixed
It Takes a Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 2, 2017
2. It Takes a Village Marker
day-glo stickers to their cars,and took brothel owners to court. With homebuyer subsidies and low-interest loans, some LCCA members purchased and rehabilitated houses, including some long used as brothels. With LCCA help, stronger penalties, and the emergence of the Internet as a marketplace, the trade began to subside in the early 1990s.

In addition to its anti-crime work, LCCA helped beautify Logan Circle and worked to expand the historic district.

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
It Takes a Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
3. It Takes a Village Marker
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 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 Heritage DC - Logan Circle Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 14 of 15.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington DC, Logan Circle Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 54.529′ N, 77° 1.904′ W. Marker is in Logan Circle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue when traveling south on 14th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1345 14th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20005, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
It Takes a Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
4. It Takes a Village Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Treading the Boards (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bethune Museum-Archives (about 400 feet away); Striving for Equality (about 400 feet away); When Logan Rode The Battle Line (about 400 feet away); No Braver Man Than John Logan (about 500 feet away); John Logan House (about 500 feet away); The Artistic Life (about 500 feet away); Logan Circle (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Logan Circle.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesPolitics
 
City Lights image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
5. City Lights
James Lesesne Wells's woodblock print “City Lights,” 1938. The artist and Howard University professor lived in the Logan Circle neighborhood at 1333 R Street.
Close-up of image on reverse of marker
Weeds in the Circle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
6. Weeds in the Circle
Before the Logan Circle Community Association stepped in, the area around General Logan's statue was full of weeds. By 1984, the statue of General Logan had a more fitting frame.
Close-up of photo on marker
Fire Escapes image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
7. Fire Escapes
The fire escapes on the mansions seen in this view of a Logan Circle tour during National Capital Landmarks Week, 1964, are evidence of their use as rooming houses.
Close-up of photo on marker
Cutting through the Circle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
8. Cutting through the Circle
In 1950 the City cut lanes through Logan Circle to improve commuter traffic flow.
Close-up of photo on marker
Stop the 13th Street Freeway! image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
9. Stop the 13th Street Freeway!
13th Street became an alternating one-way, four-lane highway until 1978, when the LCCA won the battle to return the street to two-way use and restore the circle.
Close-up of photo on marker
Picketing Prostitution image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
10. Picketing Prostitution
Neighbors picketed in front of Raleigh House 1502 13th Street in 1975.
Close-up of photo on marker
Bawdy House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
11. Bawdy House
The next year the DC Court of Appeals ruled that as a “Bawdy House” and a “nuisance,” it must close its doors.
Close-up of photo on marker
Raleigh House<br> 1502 13th Street image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
12. Raleigh House
1502 13th Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 4, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 392 times since then and 23 times this year. Last updated on December 2, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1. submitted on January 4, 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. submitted on January 4, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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