Dupont Circle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Rooms With a View
Roads to Diversity
—Adams-Morgan Heritage Trail —
This hill, with its sweeping views of Washington and the Potomac, has tantalized visionaries since the 1800s. But few of their plans have been built.
In 1873 businessman and city commissioner Thomas P. Morgan (whose name survives as part of Adams-Morgan) created Oak Lawn, a four-story, Second Empire mansion, where the upper edge of the Washington Hilton sits today. Oak Lawn honored the property's 400-year-old "Treaty Oak," said to be the site of treaty negotiations between English settlers and Native Americans. Over time the property appealed to George Washington University, the Grand Lodge of Masons, and even controversial modern architect Frank Lloyd Wright. But the university and the Masons couldn't raise needed funds, and Wright's elaborate scheme for "Crystal Heights" - 21 glass towers with apartments, hotel rooms, theater, restaurants, stores, 1,500 parking spaces, and roof-top gardens cascading down the hill - was rejected by city officials.
Morgan's house remained until 1952, when it was razed. The Treaty Oak was thoughtlessly cut down a year later. Finally, in 1965 the Washington Hilton opened here. It became a noted Washington venue for conventions, inaugural balls, and political speeches. On March 30, 1981, the entrance behind you was the location of John Hinckley, Jr.'s attempt to assassinate President Ronald
To your right is the former site of Gunston Hall School, which educated young women here from 1906 until 1942. Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry S. Truman, was a graduate.
Oak Lawn mansion, built by Thomas Morgan, with the Treaty Oak at left.
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
Frank Lloyd Wright presents plans for Crystal Heights.
One of Gunston Hall School's four buildings.
Members of the Gunston Hall School Camera Club.
Oak Lawn estate, cleared for development.
1955. Washington Division, D.C. Public Library.
The Adams Morgan story begins with its breezy hilltop location, prized by Native Americans, colonial settlers, freedom seekers, powerful Washingtonians, working people, and immigrants alike. Unlike most close-in neighborhoods, Adams Morgan has never been dominated by any of these groups. Today’s rich diversity is the legacy of each group that has passed through.
Follow the 18 signs of the Roads to Diversity: Adams Morgan Heritage Trail to discover the personalities and forces that shaped a community once known simply as “18th and Columbia.” Along the way, you’ll learn how school desegregation led to the name Adams Morgan, and you’ll meet presidents and paupers, natives and immigrants, artists,
Roads to Diversity: Adam Morgan Heritage Trail, a booklet capturing the trail's highlights, is available at local businesses. To learn about other DC neighborhoods, check out City Within a City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail, beginning at 16th and U streets, and visit: www.CulturalTourismDC.org
Roads to Diversity is dedicated to the memory of Carolyn Llorente (1937-2003).
List of contributors and producers
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 14.)
Location. 38° 54.956′ N, 77° 2.713′ W. Marker is in Dupont Circle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on T Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2050 T Street, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. President Reagan Assassination Attempt (within shouting distance of this marker); McClellan Memorial (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); General Manuel Belgrano (about 600 feet away); Embassy of the Republic of Malta (about 700 feet away); "Best Addresses" (about 800 feet away); Architects and Architecture (approx. 0.2 miles away); Educational Institutions (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fraser Mansion (approx. ¼ mile away).
Categories. • Architecture • Education • Man-Made Features • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 29, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 224 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 29, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.