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”
Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

History Preserved and Adapted

 
 
History Preserved and Adapted Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 15, 2016
1. History Preserved and Adapted Marker
Inscription.

Georgetown began in the 1740s as a tobacco port, where ships departed for Britain, Europe and the West Indies filled with flour, lumber, coal, grain and, above all, tobacco. The fine harbor brought visitors and goods and, with them, prosperity and acclaim. Warehouses and mills flourished here, but eventually the waterfront became saturated with noxious odors, soot and waste as industries produced an unsightly collection of abandoned warehouses, junk yards, salt piles and parking lots. In 1949 construction of an elevated highway required demolition of several historic structures. Dismay at the loss of these buildings hastened passage of the Old Georgetown Act of 1950, which preserved the character of Georgetown above M Street - but not below. Finally, in 1967 the Georgetown waterfront was designated a National Historical Landmark, but misuse and neglect continued for years until the courts allowed rezoning.

A number of creative architects and developers responded by preserving and adapting the remaining old buildings with imaginative designs. Architect Arthur Cotton Moore was one of the first. In 1970 he converted a derelict 19th-century warehouse on 31st Street to the lively office and art center known as Canal Square. In 2003 developer Anthony Lanier, with architects Gary F. Handel and Shalom Baranes, preserved the brick
History Preserved and Adapted Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 15, 2016
2. History Preserved and Adapted Marker
A view of the marker looking across K Street, with a portion of The Washington Harbour complex behind the marker.
incinerator across the street by wrapping a hotel lobby around its 130-foot-tall smokestack. The Washington Harbour complex behind you, constructed as a modern complement to the many restored K Street structures that have made the Georgetown waterfront a popular tourist destination and scenic place to live.


Restoration of Georgetown's Call Boxes
Georgetown's Call Box restoration project is part of a city-wide effort to rescue the District's abandoned fire and police call boxes. Known as Art on Call, the project has identified more than 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 colonial port town that predated the District of Columbia.

Fire alarms such as this one (originally painted red) were installed in the District after the Civil War. In most boxes, the alarm was activated by opening a door on the front of the box and pulling a lever. An automatic telegraph system transmitted the box number to a central office that directed the closest fire station to dispatch a fire truck to the vicinity of the call box. After almost 100 years, the system began to decline in the 1960s with the advent of two-way car radios
History Preserved and Adapted Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 15, 2016
3. History Preserved and Adapted Marker
A view of the marker to the west along K Street. The elevated Whitehurst Freeway can be seen above K Street.
and walkie-talkies. The alarms were finally turned off in the 1960s and replaced with the 911 emergency system.

Art on Call is a program of Cultural Tourism DC
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
EASTBANC

 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC.
 
Location. 38° 54.149′ N, 77° 3.553′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on K Street, NW, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 31st Street, NW, Washington DC 20007, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Herring Highway (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Georgetown Historic District (about 600 feet away); Mule Power (about 700 feet away); Georgetown and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (about 700 feet away); At All Hours (about 700 feet away); Creating a National Park (about 700 feet away); The Georgetown House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
 
Categories. ArchitectureIndustry & Commerce
 
History Preserved and Adapted Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 27, 2018
4. History Preserved and Adapted Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 20, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on January 27, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 20, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   4. submitted on January 27, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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