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

A Streetcar Named Brightwood

Battleground to Community

 

—Brightwood Heritage Trail —

 
A Streetcar Named Brightwood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
1. A Streetcar Named Brightwood Marker
Inscription. The Large Structure across Georgia Avenue opened in 1909 as a "car barn" for the Brightwood Railway. The facility could service more than 40 streetcars at once, and often did so late at night. As a young boy in the 1950s, Thomas Reardon remembered the busy barn as "a scary place" where streetcars' lights gleamed in the darkness "like the eyes of monsters." Powered at first by horses, the streetcars by 1893 ran on electricity provided by overhead lines. Congress prohibited overhead lines south of Florida Avenue, so southbound streetcars stopped there to switch to an underground conduit.

With two quick rings on the bell, the conductor alerted passengers that he was about to move. At night, residents recalled, the hum of the streetcar could be heard for blocks. Buses replaced streetcars here in 1960 (citywide in 1962). Subsequently the car barn housed a series of auto dealerships.

Next to the old car barn at 5921 Georgia Avenue, Sidney Hechinger opened his third building-supply store in 1927. Three years he built a substantial Art Deco Style store on the site. The longstanding and prosperous Hechinger family business had begun in 1911 with a wrecking and salvage company located at 6th and C streets, Southwest. Three generations of Hechingers directed the company with a strong sense of civic responsibility. John
A Streetcar Named Brightwood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
2. A Streetcar Named Brightwood Marker
Hechinger, Sr., served as chairman of the first city council of the 20th century. The family sold the business in 1997, and the buyers closed its doors forever two years later.
 
Erected 2008. (Marker Number 18.)
 
Location. 38° 57.755′ N, 77° 1.684′ W. Marker is in Brightwood, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Peabody Street, on the left when traveling north on Georgia Avenue. Touch for map. The marker is on the southwest corner of Peabody Street and Georgia Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20011, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Rock on Brightwood Avenue (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Build It And They Will Come (about 400 feet away); “Get Down You Fool” (about 500 feet away); Aunt Betty's Story (about 600 feet away); Crossroads Create Community (about 600 feet away); Fort Stevens (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Stevens (about 700 feet away); Scale Model of Fort Stevens (about 700 feet 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.
Car Barn image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
3. Car Barn
The Brightwood Car Barn, 1947.

 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
Hechinger Co. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
4. Hechinger Co.
The Hechinger Company came to Brightwood around 1927.
Hechinger's Window image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
5. Hechinger's Window
Hechinger's lively display window around 1930.
Art Deco image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
6. Art Deco
Hechinger's Art Deco building also housed the Brightwood Post Office.
Hechinger's Lumber Yard image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
7. Hechinger's Lumber Yard
Hechinger's lumber yard, around 1940.
Curtis Chevrolet image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
8. Curtis Chevrolet
Selling used cars at Curtis Chevrolet, around 1970. The family business operated across Georgia Avenue from 1966 to 2008.
Streetcar 1960 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
9. Streetcar 1960
A chartered streetcar cruises past Emory Methodist Church on Georgia Avenue,around 1960.
Map -- Brightwood Heritage Trail image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
10. Map -- Brightwood Heritage Trail
You Are Here.
Development image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
11. Development
The car barn, Hechinger's and the Chevrolet dealership are gone. Walmart rises in their place.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 717 times since then and 68 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. submitted on April 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement