Atlas District in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
At the Crossroads
Hub, Home, Heart
— Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail —
Before Prohibition closed DC's many saloons in 1917, 727 H Street housed the German-owned Beuchert Tavern. Louis Kavakos bought the place in 1929 and ran it as a lunch counter/confectionery. After Prohibition ended four years later, Kavakos and his sons William, George, and John replaced the luncheonette with Club Kavakos, a bar and grill with live music, dancing, vaudeville, and strippers. Like many DC night spots, the club thrived during World War II. After the war, patrons enjoyed evenings hosted by WMAL radio DJ Willis Conover. Jazz greats Charlie
In 1914 Ezras Israel Orthodox congregation moved from its space above a grocery on H Street into the former Centennial Baptist Church at Eighth and I Streets, one block north. Forty-five years later it closed as most of H Street's Jewish population moved north, and eventually re-opened in Rockville, Maryland.
Trains and streetcars created the Near Northeast neighborhood around H Street. The B&O Railroad's arrival in 1835 made this a center of energetic, working-class life. Workmen living north of the Capitol staffed the Government Printing Office, ran the trains, stocked the warehouses, and built Union Station. When a streetcar arrived linking H Street to downtown, new construction quickly followed.
H Street bustled with shops and offices run by Jewish, Italian, Lebanese, Greek, Irish, and African American families. During the segregation era, which lasted into the 1950s, African Americans came to H Street for its department stores and sit-down restaurants. Most businesses welcomed all customers.
Then came the civil disturbances in the wake of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in 1968. Decades of commercial decline followed. Just off H Street, though, the strong residential community endured. The 2005 opening of the Atlas Performing Arts
Hub, Home, Heart: Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided, 3.2-mile tour of 18 signs offers about two hours of gentle exercise. Free keepsake guidebooks in English or Spanish are available at businesses and institutions along the way. For more on DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 15.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Greater H Street Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 54.019′ N, 76° 59.706′ W. Marker is in Atlas District, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of H Street Northeast and 8th Street Northeast, on the right when traveling west on H Street Northeast. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 722 H Street Northeast, Washington DC 20002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Fires of 1968 (within shouting distance of this marker); Get Behind the Wheel (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sanctuaries (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Changing Faces of H Street Brickyards to Buildings (approx. ¼ mile away); Cathy Hughes (approx. 0.3 miles away); Education for All (approx. 0.3 miles away); Leonard M. Elstad (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlas District.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail
Also see . . . Live! From Club Kavakos. Page with pictures and recollections of Club Kavakos. (Submitted on October 7, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Entertainment • Industry & Commerce • Notable Places •
More. Search the internet for At the Crossroads.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 7, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 414 times since then and 21 times this year. Last updated on February 11, 2014, by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on October 7, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.