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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
U Street Corridor in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

This is part of the Shaw neighborhood

Dupont Circle

 

—Diverse Visions, One Neighborhood —

 
This is part of the Shaw neighborhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 13, 2018
1. This is part of the Shaw neighborhood Marker
Inscription.

Police Call Boxes such as this one (originally painted blue) were installed in the District after the Civil War. Officers on foot patrol used this secure telegraph system to contact the station, accessing the box with a now highly collectible "gold key." This system was used until the late 1970s when it was abandoned in favor of more modern communication methods.

This is part of the Shaw neighborhood of upwardly mobile African Americans (1875-1950). Prior to the Civil War (1861-1865), this was the northernmost edge of the city, an area of small farms. By the late 1890s, the farms had been subdivision and covered with the rows of Victorian dwellings (left) that you see today. African Americans and whites lived in close proximity. By the 1920s, however, housing segregation through restrictive covenants changed people's habits. With the widespread adoption of automobiles by the middle class and suburban development for whites only, what had been a bi-racial residential community became a self-sufficient black community.

Fire alarm boxes such as this one (originally painted red) were installed in the District after the Civil War. Telegraphs transmitted the box number (top) to a fire alarm center. This system was used until the 1970s when the boxes were converted to a telephone system. By
This is part of the Shaw neighborhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 13, 2018
2. This is part of the Shaw neighborhood Marker
the 1990s, the callbox system had been replaced by the 911 system and was abandoned.

Lily Spandorf (1915-2000), a prolific local artist who was born and trained in Europe, emigrated to the United States in 1959 and lived near the present Dupont Circle north Metro exit. She chronicled everyday Washington, especially Dupont Circle. Her work can be found in the Senate's collection of fine art.
Artist, Lily Spandorf

Tour guide, map and artist information for all 22 boxes available at: www.DupontCircleCallBox.com


Reverse:

Dupont Circle
Art on Call


The Dupont Circle Art on Call project explores neighborhood history and local fire and police events. It also celebrates our diverse political, artistic and intellectual community by presenting original artwork by 22 local artists featuring the hub of our neighborhood. Dupont Circle and the beautiful fountains designed by Daniel Chester French.

Art on Call is a program of Cultural Tourism DC with support from
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
District Department of Transportation

This call box is sponsored by:
Apex, Richard Busch, Louis J. Goodson,
William J. Herron, Jr., Daniel McLaughlin & Chris Armstrong,
Carol
This is part of the Shaw neighborhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 13, 2018
3. This is part of the Shaw neighborhood Marker
Mitten & Desmond Foynes, Omega DC


Dupont Circle Art on Call Corporate Sponsor
PNC Bank

This community project also supported by
Dupont Circle Association and the Dupont Circle Conservancy, Inc.
and generous donations from community residents and businesses.

See all 22 Dupont Circle Call Boxes!

Development Committee Members:

Marilyn Newton, Chair
Michael Beidler
Phil Carney
Elaine Faye
Carol Galaty
Bill Glew
Gil Hill
Steve Hoglund
Maureen Lynch
Gary McLeod
Amanda McNally
James H. Mears
Gerald Allen Schwinn

Tour guide, map and artist information available at: www.DupontCircleCallBox.com

Graphic design coursesy of: e-lanestudio
Fabrication: Gelberg Signs

 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 253.)
 
Location. Marker has been reported unreadable. 38° 54.931′ N, 77° 2.061′ W. Marker is in U Street Corridor, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of T Street Northwest and 15th Street NW, on the right when traveling east on T Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1466 T St NW, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
This is part of the Shaw neighborhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 13, 2018
4. This is part of the Shaw neighborhood Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Strong Families and Eminent Citizens (within shouting distance of this marker); John Wesley Cromwell Residence (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); This section of 15th St. (about 500 feet away); Georgia Douglas Johnson Residence (about 500 feet away); Living Mural: Paul Laurence Dunbar (about 600 feet away); A Shared Neighborhood (about 600 feet away); Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments (about 700 feet away); Todd Duncan Residence (about 700 feet away).
 
More about this marker. Two of the sponsors of the call box, Apex and Omega DC, are historical gay bars in midtown DC. Both establishments have closed since the call box was converted to a historical marker. Back of marker has weather damage.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 17, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 62 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 14, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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