Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Simplicity, Gentleness, Humility
Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, straight ahead in the next block, is one of the oldest Catholic institutions in America. It was founded in 1799 by three pious ladies under the spiritual guidance of the president of Georgetown College, where education for women was lacking. On land adjacent to the college (now Georgetown University), they established the Academy for Young Ladies as well as the Benevolent School for working-class white children; free blacks and slaves were also taught to read and write. In 1816 the women were accepted as Sisters of the Visitation, a French order that emphasizes simplicity, gentleness and humility. They took in washing, raised vegetables, and did whatever they could to support the schools and their convent.
Visitation has always been involved with the life of the Capital City. Five presidents — John Q. Adams, Polk, Tyler, Buchanan and Grant — participated in its annual award ceremonies. Harriet Lane, Buchanan's niece and official hostess, was a student, as was Martha Washington's great-granddaughter, Britannia Peter. IN 1829 Andrew Jackson stopped by and invited the ladies to the White House for tea. The young ladies, tastefully dressed, formed a line and marched to the President's house in snow white uniforms with blue capes and bonnets trimmed in blue ribbons;
Until 1975, when it ceased to accept boarders, Visitation attracted students from all over the United States and Latin America. During five major wars the school offered help, even allowing anti-aircraft guns and temporary housing on campus during World War II. In 1993 a catastrophic fire destroyed much of the main school building. Just four exterior walls made of solid brick 32 inches thick remained. Reconstruction took two years, based in part on old photographs. Needlework and drawings, dating from the 19th century when they were part of the school's curriculum, also provide a record of its early appearance.
The school that began with a handful of young ladies in a one-story cabin in the 18th century entered the 21st century with an enrollment of 450 young women on its historic 23-acre campus.
Georgetownís Call Box restoration project is part of a city-wide effort to rescue the Districtís abandoned fire and police call boxes. Known as Art on Call, the project has identified more that 800 boxes for restoration. Neighborhood by neighborhood, they are being put to new use as permanent displays of local art, history and culture. The Georgetown project highlights the anecdotal history of Georgetown and its unique heritage as a thriving
Police alarm boxes such as this one (originally painted blue) were established for police use starting in the 1880s. An officer on foot - as most were in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - used the box to check in regularly with his precinct or to call for backup if needed. The police boxes were locked, opened by a big brass key that officers carried. Inside was a telephone that automatically dialed the precinctís number. Checking in regularly was a way to make sure the patrolman was doing his job, and also a way to make sure he was safe. Use of the call box system began to decline in the 1960s with the advent of two-way car radios and walkie talkies. The phones were finally disconnected in the 1970s and replaced with todayís 911 emergency system.
with support from
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Creates Public Art Program
District Department of Transportation
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
Citizens Association of Georgetown
In recognition of the Kim Family
who welcomed us to Sugar's
The Carlson Family
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC.
Location. 38° 54.46′ N, 77° 4.135′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of O Street Northwest and 35th Street NW on O Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3428 O Street NW, Washington DC 20007, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Political Salons of Georgetown (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Holy Trinity Church (about 300 feet away); Ambassador David K. E. Bruce (about 400 feet away); John Fitzgerald Kennedy (about 400 feet away); Holy Trinity Parish (about 400 feet away); La Casa Latina (about 400 feet away); The Black House (about 400 feet away); MaHorney - Harrington House (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
Categories. • African Americans • Churches & Religion • Education • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 25 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 1, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.