Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbia Heights in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A City in Itself

Cultural Convergence

 

—Columbia Heights Heritage Trail —

 
A City in Itself Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones
1. A City in Itself Marker
Inscription.

Columbia Heights by the mid 1920s was a center of white elite activity and commerce. The elegant, Neoclassical style Riggs Bank branch and the Italian Renaissance style Tivoli Theater opened to great acclaim. Soon after, radio station WRC moved into the bank building, its rooftop tower advertising the wondrous new technology.

Harry Crandall's Tivoli was among the largest and grandest theaters in Washington. People literally danced in the streets the day it opened. The 2,500-seat theater hosted live shows as well as films. It was Washington's first movie house equipped for "talkies," movies with sound.

With these two anchors, Columbia Heights in 1928 was "practically independent of downtown Washington," proclaimed the Washington Post. Then the housing demands of the Great Depression and World War II led some to subdivide the larger houses. New residents in the 1950s demanded more affordable goods and services. Soon the discount department store Morton's arrived, and the number of night spots increased.

Like many other DC theaters, the Tivoli was segregated until forced by the Supreme Court in 1953 to desegregated. In the 1960s its programming shifted to attract local audiences in the now-predominantly African American community. Children enjoyed Saturday matinees for 25 cents, with
A City in Itself Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 26, 2017
2. A City in Itself Marker
15-cent popcorn and 10-cent sodas. Despite the civil disturbances of 1968, the Tivoli remained a neighborhood anchor until it closed in 1976. Thanks to preservationists and area residents, the landmark was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and was carefully restored in 2006.

Reverse:
More than 200 years ago, city planner Pierre Charles L’Enfant designed a new capital city on the low coastal plain at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, bordered on the north by a steep hill. Today the hill defines Columbia Heights.

Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Heritage Trail takes you on a tour of the lively neighborhood that began as a remote suburb of Washington City. Over time, transportation innovations, starting with streetcars, made Columbia Heights accessible and desirable. Soon, men and women of every background populated the neighborhood, people who changed the world with new technology, revolutionary ideas, literature, laws, and leadership. From the low point of the civil disturbances of 1968, Columbia Heights turned to resident leaders and rose again. Metrorail’s arrival in 1999 provided a boost, reviving the historically important 14th Street commercial corridor. Experience both the new and old Columbia Heights, with all its cultural and economic diversity, as you talk this walk.

A
A City in Itself Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 26, 2017
3. A City in Itself Marker
Description of the Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Heritage Trail tour and acknowledgment of its creators follows.

 
Erected 2009 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 3 of 19.)
 
Location. 38° 55.828′ N, 77° 1.943′ W. Marker is in Columbia Heights, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Park Road Northwest and 14th Street NW, on the right on Park Road Northwest. Touch for map. Along the south side of the Tivoli Theater. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3301 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20010, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Amusement Palace (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Street (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Wilson Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Latino Intelligence Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mount Pleasant: The Immigrants' Journey (approx. ¼ mile away); Mount Pleasant Library (approx. ¼ mile away); Turbulence and Change (approx. ¼ mile away); Sacred Heart Academy (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia Heights.
 
Categories. African AmericansCommunicationsEntertainmentIndustry & Commerce
 
A City in Itself Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 26, 2017
4. A City in Itself Marker
Tivoli Theater with marker showing on the right side image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 26, 2017
5. Tivoli Theater with marker showing on the right side
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 26, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 26, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement