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

Changing Fashions

Village in the City


—Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail —

Changing Fashions Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
1. Changing Fashions Marker

Around 1900 this successful suburb attracted successful business leaders, who set a grand standard for home building. Printer Byron S. Adams commissioned architect Frederick Pyle to design 1801 Park Road in the Colonial Revival style. Pyle also contributed 3303 18th Street. Developer Lewis Breuninger built 1770 Park Road for his family, as well as rowhouses along Park Road. Completing the luxurious landscape was the large house at 1802 Park Road (since demolished for rowhouses). This enclave was short-lived however.

During the Great Depression of 1929-1941, the houses at 1801 and 1802 Park Road became homes for the elderly. In the 1950s, 3303 18th Street became a rooming house. Twenty years later, social service providers operated from dozens of Mount Pleasant's houses, large and small. More recently these well-built, convenient buildings have gone back to single-family use by people of means returning to in-town living.

After World War II, Mount Pleasant enjoyed a brief heyday as a "hillbilly" (now country) music destination. Singer (and later sausage salesman) Jimmy Dean found fame hosting a local TV show, Town and Country Time, but Mount Pleasant knew him first as Jimmy Dean and the Texas Wildcats, the Starlite Restaurant's house band. Dean roomed at 3303 18th Street, where neighbor Fred
Changing Fashions Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
2. Changing Fashions Marker
Hays delivered the Washington Daily News: "I'd walk through the unlocked front door, up the stairs and throw one over the railing. That's where Jimmy Dean lived." Charlie Waller, founder of the Country Gentlemen bluegrass band, grew up in his mothers rooming house at 1747 Park Road. When country gave way to rock 'n' roll in the 1960s, local clubs followed suit.

Byron S. Adams, below, advertised his printing business on his delivery truck, around 1920. The family home is seen in the 1930s, bottom right.

Fred Hays, paperboy to the stars, 1956.

Mount Pleasant's Charlie Waller, top right, and the Country Gentlemen, 1959.

Byron Adams's mansion at 1801 Park Rd, was saved from demolition in 1978.

When the Starlite switched from country to rock, so did its matchbooks. The "IITYWYBMAD" written on the matchbook spine stood for "If I tell you, will you buy me a drink?"

Tucked into a bend in Rock Creek Park on the breezy heights above central Washington, Mount Pleasant was one of the city's earliest suburban developments. It began as a village of government clerks mainly from New England, and stretched from 17th Street east to Seventh Street. Later it attracted prominent citizens to its site along fashionable 16th Street, and eventually yielded the
3303 18th Street NW image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
3. 3303 18th Street NW
area east of 16th Street to Columbia Heights. But that's only on the map. Mount Pleasant's boundaries depend on who you are and where you came from.

The arrival of the streetcar transformed the village into an urban enclave. Working people and newcomers to Washington began to call Mount Pleasant home in the mid-1900s. Its varied citizenry earned it the nickname "little U.N." By the 1970s Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan were recognized as the heart of the Latino immigrant community.

Mount Pleasant activists have often been on the cutting edge of important civic issues, and artists and musicians have been part of its daily life. While the neighborhood has changed with the city, some things remain constant. Children consider the National Zoo and Rock Creek Park their personal playgrounds, and residents shop and greet each other on Mt. Pleasant Street. Colonial Revival mansions, early apartment buildings, and rowhouses remain remarkably intact. A stroll along the 17 signs of Village in the City: Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail will introduce you to it all. Welcome!

Special thanks to the Mount Pleasang Heritage Trail Working Group: Neil Richardson, chair; Mara Cherkasky, Working Group historian; Jim Barnett, David Bosserman, Jeff Brechbul, Malvina Brown, Olivia Cadaval, Robert Frazier, Elinor Hart, Mary Hathaway, Dora Johnson,
1770 Park Road NW image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2017
4. 1770 Park Road NW
Edwin Hill Langrall, Jeff Logan, Carmen Marrero, Dennis Marvich, Ric Mendoza-Gleason, Louis Meyer, Galey Modan, Mary Mill Rojas, Michael Rosa, David Sitomer, and Terry Thielen. And also to Tanya Edwards Beauchamp, Mary Belcher, Joana Brown, Ginger Carter, Rodney Case, Ronald Chacon, Carmen Chapin, Shirley Cherkasky, Carole Clarke, Alan Darby, Sharon Deane, Malini Dominey, Larry Fredette, Will Grant, Joan Graumamn, Mary Gregory, Martha Grigg, Tony Grillo, Richard Hardy, Faye HAskins, Fred Haya III, Gregory Heller, Michael Heller, Luis Hernandez, Eddie Hicks, Jane Holt, Toni Johnson, Eliza A.B. Jones, Wayne Kahn, Ellen Kardy, Bill Katopothis, Brian Kraft, Ken Laden, Myrtle Lawson, Mary Leckle, Marshall Logan, Louise Legsdon, Linda Low, Rob Low, Jeanie Majeed, Gladys Mitchell, Gloria Mitchell, Mount Pleasant Business Association, Mount Pleasant Main Street Inc., Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance, Michael Najarian, Mark Opsasnick, Ruby Priecanos, Ann Piesen, Rosanne Burch Piesen, Wes Ponder, Rick Reinhard, Vilma Rosario, Donald Schwarzz, Wosley Semple, Chris Shaheen, Ryan Shepard, Harold Silver, Kathryn S. Smith, Louise Townsend Smith, David Songer, Grace Tamborrelle, Fay Thompson, Honora Thompson, Leu Vondas, Tasso Vondas, Randy Waller, Dagmar Hasalova White, and Arthur Wong.

Village in the City: Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail is produced by Brendan Meyer, Jane Freundel Levey, Brett Weary, Mara Cherkasky, and Anne W. Rollins of Cultural Tourism DC in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Develoopment, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail Working Group. The trail was supported by Historic Mount Pleasant.

2006, All rights reserved. Designed by Side View/Hanna Smotrich, Map by Larry Bowring.
Erected 2006 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 12 of 17.)
Location. 38° 55.94′ N, 77° 2.467′ W. Marker is in Mount Pleasant, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Park Road Northwest near 18th Street NW, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1770 Park Road NW, Washington DC 20010, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. War and Peace (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Defying the Restrictive Covenants (about 500 feet away); Nacotchtank Family at the Piney Branch Quarry, ca. 1600 (about 700 feet away); Casualties Arriving at Mount Pleasant General Hospital, May 1864 (about 700 feet away); Twenty-seven Little Flags (about 700 feet away); Main Street (about 700 feet away); Streetcar Suburb (approx. 0.2 miles away); At Home and Abroad (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mount Pleasant.
Categories. ArchitectureArts, Letters, Music
Credits. This page was last revised on January 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 25, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 85 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 25, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area in context. • Can you help?
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