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

Crossroads Create Community

Battleground to Community

 

—Brightwood Heritage Trail —

 
Crossroads Create Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
1. Crossroads Create Community Marker
Inscription. The Grand, Neo-classical Revival style building that you see across Georgia Avenue north of Missouri opened in 1925 as the Bank of Brightwood, thanks to efforts of the Brightwood Citizens Association. Designed by Treasury Department architect Arthur Blakslee, the bank's ornate Corinthian columns seem to say "this is a serious institution!" Its arrival reflected the area's growth as a place of business.

The community's development began in earnest after Congress united Washington City (south of Florida Avenue) with Washington County (north of Florida Avenue to the District Line) in 1871. Soon Land developers envisioned housing where farmers grew wheat.

First came Brightwood Park, just south of today's Emery Park: 82 acres of the estate originally granted to James White in 1772. Next came "White-Coft," west of today's Georgia Avenue at Madison Street, followed by North Brightwood, east of today's Georgia Avenue to Eighth Street and north from Rittenshouse to Tuckerman.

The bank supported these ventures, but failed in 1932, victim of the Great Depression and embezzlement. The Bank building was sold in 1940.

The small Art Deco building beside the bank at 5915 was designed by William Russell as a restaurant with office space above. Its modern facade used glass blocks and large blue glass
Crossroads Create Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
2. Crossroads Create Community Marker
plates. In the 1940's George "Pops" Valltos operated the Seven Seas Grill there serving steaks and chops. I the 1970s, Jen Cheng and Lana H.C. Shao moved their Chinese restaurant there from Shaw, and decided the Seven Seas name worked for them as well.
 
Erected 2008 by Cultural Trails DC. (Marker Number 4.)
 
Location. 38° 57.659′ N, 77° 1.689′ W. Marker is in Brightwood, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Georgia Avenue (U.S. 29) and Missouri Avenue, on the right when traveling south on Georgia Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is on the sidewalk between "Chocolate Crust" at 5798 Georgia Ave NW and The Stansbury Mason Lodge building at 1200 Missouri Avenue. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5798 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington DC 20011, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Build It And They Will Come (within shouting distance of this marker); Hold the Mayo! (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Streetcar Named Brightwood (about 600 feet away); Mayor Emery and the Union Army (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Rock on Brightwood Avenue (approx. 0.2 miles
Bank of Brightwood Building image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
3. Bank of Brightwood Building
By 1948 the Bank of Brightwood had become the Commercial Credit Corporation.
Close-up of photo on Marker
Historical Society of Washington DC
away); “Get Down You Fool” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Aunt Betty's Story (approx. 0.2 miles away); School Days (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brightwood.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Follow the Brightwood Heritage Trail
 
Categories. Man-Made Features
 
Missouri Avenue formerly Concord Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
4. Missouri Avenue formerly Concord Avenue
In 1946, coincidentally during the administration of Missouri native President Harry S. Truman, Concord Avenue was renamed Missouri Avenue.
Close-up of photo on marker
Harris and Ewing photo Courtesy The Washington Post
Laundry Bar and Office Supply image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
5. Laundry Bar and Office Supply
A laundry, a bar, and an office supply store occupied this block in 1949.
Close-up of photo on marker
The Historical Society of Washington DC
Betsy Valltos & Nicholas image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
6. Betsy Valltos & Nicholas
Betsy Valltos and son Nicholas, 1952,in front of the Seven Seas where Betsy and husband Nick worked for his father, owner George Valltos.
Close-up of photo on marker
Collection of Mary Elizabeth Valltos
Jen Cheng Shao image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
7. Jen Cheng Shao
Seven Seas owner Jen Cheng Shao, center, and family members at the opening of his Seven Seas restaurant.
Close-up of photo on marker
Shao family collection
Crossroads Create Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
8. Crossroads Create Community Marker
Seven Seas owner Jen Cheng Shao, right, at the opening of his Seven Seas restaurant.
Close-up of photo on marker
Shao family collection
Arial Photo image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
9. Arial Photo
Looking southeast where Georgia and Missouri avenues intersect
Close-up of photo on reverse of marker
1963 District Department of Transportation Archive
Map -- You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
10. Map -- You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
Bank of Brightwood image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
11. Bank of Brightwood
The Bank of Brightwood was founded in 1923. This building was built in 1925 and in July 1932 a run on the bank closed it. The bank president Raymond Schreiner was indicted for embezzlement. This made Bank of Brightwood one of only 4 Washington banks to fail during the Great Depression.
Bank of Brightwood Building image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
12. Bank of Brightwood Building
Today, the Bank of Brightwood building is "Little Rascals" doggy daycare.
B of B Medallion image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
13. B of B Medallion
Bank of Brightwood medallion on the archivolt around the door of the Bank of Brightwood building.
Corinthian Capital image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
14. Corinthian Capital
On the Bank of Brightwood Building
The Seven Seas Restarant image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
15. The Seven Seas Restarant
Built between 1929 and 1930 this Art Deco Building was was fronted with Vitrolite tiles set in aluminum frames. The tiles have disappeared.
Seven Seas Restaurant image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
16. Seven Seas Restaurant
Remnant of architectural detail with graffiti
Seven Seas Restaurant image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
17. Seven Seas Restaurant
Glass bricks
Seven Seas Restaurant image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
18. Seven Seas Restaurant
and office space above
Kendejah Restaurant and Lounge image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
19. Kendejah Restaurant and Lounge
This now-closed restaurant occupied the space occupied by the Laundry and the Bar in 1949.
Chocolate Crust image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 19, 2013
20. Chocolate Crust
This chocolatier occupies the site of the 1949 office supply store. The brand-new banner covers the sign of the preceding business "Washington Deli".
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 22, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 506 times since then and 31 times this year. Last updated on April 6, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. submitted on May 22, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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