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

Urban Oasis

Lift Every Voice

 

—Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail —

 
Urban Oasis Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
1. Urban Oasis Marker
Inscription. These Rowhouses Were Built by developer Harry Wardman, whose houses, hotels, and apartment buildings are known for elegant, solid construction. When these became available in 1912, buyers snapped them up. Among them were an electrician, a policeman, and an iron worker.

All were working class, and all were white. Wardman, like most developers of his era, had added a covenant, or agreement, to the deeds prohibiting sale or rental to “any Negro or colored person under a penalty of Two Thousand Dollars.” Despite the covenants, by 1930 the houses were all occupied by African Americans. The change happened partly because of the race riot that occurred near here in 1919, and partly because black residential sections near U Street and Howard University expanded. In 1948 the Supreme Court declared racial covenants unenforceable.

Racial change is never permanent, though. In 1956, when Lily Jones and her family moved to Hobart Place, she founded a few white neighbors: “When We moved in, ” recalled Jones, “they moved out.” In her time on Hobart Place, Jones saw Latino families come and go, and the return of the whites. Recently multi-racial block parties resumed here, where Jones and her husband George raised eight children in their “study, well-built” house.

This
Urban Oasis Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
2. Urban Oasis Marker
block's best-kept secret may be its tiny “Pocket parks.” Responding to requests from Hobart Place Block Club, Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, added Hobart Place's existing parks to her campaign to beautify Washington. Local philanthropists Carmen and David Lloyd Kreeger funded the work.

This house is a mansion…
This house holds the key to the future
and the majesty of the past…
This house has seen its share of ups and downs,
but year after year it stands stronger than before.
This house is a fortress.
This house is love.
This house is family

-- Maya Alston, granddaughter of Lily Johnson.


 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 14 of 19.)
 
Location. 38° 55.65′ N, 77° 1.496′ W. Marker is in Pleasant Plains, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Hobart Place, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Near Hobart Twins Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 756 Hobart Place, Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Treat Me Refined" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Girard Street Elites (approx. 0.2 miles away); Along the "Nile Valley"
Dedication of Hobart Place Community Parks image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
3. Dedication of Hobart Place Community Parks
Neighborhood Club President Eva Rumph,Carmen Kreeger, Lady Bird Johnson, David Lloyd Kreeger, and Mayor Walter E. Washington dedicated the Hobart Place community parks in 1968.
Close-up of photo on marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); From Beer Garden to Park View (was approx. 0.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Merriweather Home for Children (approx. ¼ mile away); Nob Hill (approx. ¼ mile away); Beyond the Basics (approx. ¼ mile away); "The Lake So Blue" (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pleasant Plains.
 
Categories. African AmericansEnvironment
 
Lily Jones and Ruth Lawson image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
4. Lily Jones and Ruth Lawson
Lily Jones and neighbor Ruth Lawson enjoy a summer afternoon on Hobart Place, 1979.
Close-up of photo on marker
Easter 1968 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
5. Easter 1968
From left, Lawrence, Valorie, William (later Rashad), and Darren, four of the eight Jones children who grew up at 762 Hobart Place, dressed for Easter 1968.
Close-up of photo on marker
Dedication of Hobart Place Community Parks image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
6. Dedication of Hobart Place Community Parks
While Secret Service agents watched, Mayor Walter Washington and neighborhood children enjoyed the Hobart Place pocket park on the day Lady Bird Johnson Dedicated it in 1968.
Close-up of photo on reverse of marker
Permit image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
7. Permit
Harry Wardman's permit for rowhouses on this block of Hobart Place.
Close-up of photo on marker
Plat Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
8. Plat Map
Harry Wardman's plat map for rowhouses on this block of Hobart Place.
Close-up of photo on marker
The Fire Wreck image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
9. The Fire Wreck
On your way to sign 15, you will cross Columbia Rd. This photo shows that intersection in 1921 after three firemen were injured there in an accident. Note the row of nearly new Wardman houses in the 700 block.
Close-up of photo on marker
You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
10. You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
Hobart Community Parks image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
11. Hobart Community Parks
A Gift of
Mr. & Mrs. David Lloyd Kreeger
To the People of Washington
In Honor of Mrs. Lyndon B.Johnson
Who Made this City More Livable
Dedicated by Mrs. Johnson
1968
Rose Garden image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
12. Rose Garden
“The evironment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we become.” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

Former first lady “Lady Bird” Johnson promoted beautification of the Nation's Capital and was instrumental in the founding of Hobart Community Parks in 1968.This garden has be replanted with a variety of roses, in keeping with the original planting plan.

~ Restored 2010 ~
757 Hobart Place image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
13. 757 Hobart Place
A Wardman rowhouse
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 12, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 248 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on July 12, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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