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

Brickyards to Buildings

Hub, Home, Heart

 

—Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail —

 
Brickyards to Buildings Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
1. Brickyards to Buildings Marker
Inscription. The Trinidad neighborhood, named for W.W. Corcoran's original estate, got its start in the 1890s after the Washington Brick Machine Company used up the clay here making bricks. With H Street filling in with houses and businesses, the company sold land for housing lots. The sturdy rowhouses that followed originally sold to white families, many of whom walked to work on H Street. Once Washington Brick closed, the American Baseball League built a short-lived ballpark on its site.

The streets to your right predate Trinidad's rowhouses. Around 1900 John Fisher operated a wholesale candy business in his home at 1008 Florida Avenue. Sons John and Edward Fisher continued the family business which lasted until 1941

The Arthur Nock family owned the large house nearby at 1001 K Street. After hardware salesman Arthur died in 1930, his widow Louise took in boarders. During the Great Depression (1929-1941), hungry drifters alerted by a mark on the back door left by an earlier hobo, knew to knock for something to eat.

Between 1945 and 1960, many white Washingtonians left the city. Some wanted newer, suburban-style housing. Others, after 1954, were unwilling to send their children to newly desegregated DC schools. Like many older neighborhoods, Trinidad changed very quickly from white to African American.

Construction foreman
William W. Corcoran image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
2. William W. Corcoran
William Wilson Corcoran, 1867. The 1859 Boschke map shows Corcoran's Trinidad estate and Kendall Green (later Gallaudet University).
Charles "Bob" Martin and family moved to Trinidad Avenue in 1948, and railroad dining car steward Joseph Strowder and his wife Korea arrived on Queen Street in 1950. They joined other newcomers to create community, leading DC's first African American Campfire Girls, a Boy Scout troop, the Trinidad Drum and Bugle Corps, and Mount Olivet Heights Civic Association.

To reach Sign 10, proceed on Florida Avenue, turn right on 13th Street, and then turn left on H Street.

(Back):
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
American League Park image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
3. American League Park
Washington Senators vs. Philadelphia Phillies at American League Park northeast of Trinidad and Florida Aves., 1905.
strong residential community endured. The 2005 opening of the Atlas Performing Arts Center signaled a revival, building evocatively on H Street's past. Hub, Home, Heart is a bridge to carry you from that past to the present.

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 9.)
 
Location. 38° 54.217′ N, 76° 59.555′ W. Marker is in Near Northeast, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Florida Avenue, NE and 10th Street, NE, on the right when traveling east on Florida Avenue, NE. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Education for All (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Leonard M. Elstad (about 700 feet away); Laurent Clerc (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
John Fisher image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
4. John Fisher
Candy wholesaler John Fisher plays with his dog, upper right, in the backyard of his home and business at 1008 Florida Ave., above, around 1910. Granddaughter Elise can be seen in the window just left of the truck's windshield.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Chapel Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Edward Miner Gallaudet (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of the Rose Cottage (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Changing Faces of H Street (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Near Northeast.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail
 
Categories. African AmericansIndustry & CommerceNotable PlacesSports
 
Louise and Arthur Nock image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
5. Louise and Arthur Nock
Louise and Arthur Nock of 1001 K St. Above, a happy group of Nock relatives poses alongside the large family home, 1928.
Trinidad Boys Club Team image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
6. Trinidad Boys Club Team
The Trinidad Boys Club team practices before winning the 1948 citywide football championship.
Royal Family Block Club party image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
7. Royal Family Block Club party
Web Elementary School's Dennis Hawkins and young admirers at the Royal Family Block Club's 26th annual block party on Queen St., 1998.
Mount Olivet Heights Civic Association image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
8. Mount Olivet Heights Civic Association
Members of the Mount Olivet Heights Civic Association at the home of Georgia Byrd on Owen Pl., about 1960. President George Boyd is standing at left.
Back of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
9. Back of Marker
Campfire Girls parade for voter registration image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
10. Campfire Girls parade for voter registration
Campfire Girls parade on Trinidad Ave. for voter registration in 1964, the first time Washingtonians could vote in a presidential election since the city's founding.
Map of the H Street Heritage Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
11. Map of the H Street Heritage Trail
Intersection of 10th and Florida Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
12. Intersection of 10th and Florida Avenue
Brickyards to Buildings Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
13. Brickyards to Buildings Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 512 times since then and 19 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, 13. submitted on October 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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