Historical Markers in Columbia Heights, District of Columbia
Washington and Vicinity
Washington(2374) ► ADJACENT TO WASHINGTON Montgomery County, Maryland(706) ► Prince George's County, Maryland(602) ► Alexandria, Virginia(344) ► Arlington County, Virginia(416) ► Fairfax County, Virginia(689) ►
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Following the April 4, 1968, assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., rioting broke out when angry crowds gathered at 14th and U Streets. The disturbances, here and around the city, lasted four days. At least ten people were . . . — — Map (db m184987) HM
For nearly a century, between 1862 and 1962, streetcars in Washington, D.C. carried people across the District. The first streetcars were drawn by horses and could only carry people short distances, but the introduction of the electric streetcars, . . . — — Map (db m111927) HM
Columbia Heights by the mid 1920s was a center of white elite activity and commerce. The elegant, Neoclassical style Riggs Bank branch and the Italian Renaissance style Tivoli Theater opened to great acclaim. Soon after, radio station WRC . . . — — Map (db m130743) HM
Since Meridian Hill Park opened in 1936, Washingtonians from the diverse neighborhoods surrounding the park have gathered here for performances, community events, and political protest.
When tens of thousands of people flocked to Washington, . . . — — Map (db m156670) HM
It is perhaps no surprise that Commodore David Porter, hero of the War of 1812, chose Meridian Hill on which to build his estate. From this knoll, Porter had a direct line of sight to the President's mansion. Though no match for the grand buildings . . . — — Map (db m63740) HM
When the smoke cleared after the civil disturbances of April 1968, Columbia Heights lay devastated. Many residents and businesses simply left. Others remained to pick up the pieces. But who would help rebuild?
Citizen groups, church . . . — — Map (db m152929) HM
The intersection of 14th Street and Park Road has been the center of community life since at least 1871, when the neighborhood was called Mount Pleasant and storekeeper George Emery made his living on the northwest corner to your left. . . . — — Map (db m130744) HM
Thomas Jefferson believed the surveyor's of the nation's capital city should set a new American Meridian, a north-south line running through both poles and the American continent.
This reference line, longitude 0° 0°, would aid navigation, . . . — — Map (db m63770) HM
Congress ordered sculptures installed at Meridian Hill Park long before the park's completion. So many sculptures were authorized that Horace Peaslee, the park's architect, called for a moratorium on installations. He told the Commission of the . . . — — Map (db m63658) HM
President Monroe singed a charter in 1821 that established Columbian College on a site north of Florida Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, Columbian College moved to Foggy Bottom in 1912 and became George Washington University, but the original . . . — — Map (db m63771) HM
Dr. Charles R. Drew (1904-1950), renowned for his blood plasma research, was associated with Howard University College of Medicine during most of his career. In 1941 Drew joined a national effort to set up a blood banking process but left because . . . — — Map (db m65523) HM
Wayland Seminary opened in Foggy Bottom just after the Civil War to train formerly enslaved people and others as “preachers and teachers for the South” and as missionaries to evangelize Africa. In 1875 it moved here, later merging . . . — — Map (db m130745) HM
Harry Wardman, Washington's prolific developer, built nearly all of the 300 houses to your right between Monroe Street and Spring Road. Wardman, an English immigrant and self-made millionaire, became known for his rowhouses, whose front . . . — — Map (db m130746) HM
At the beginning of its second century, the nation's capital was changing dramatically. In 1902, the United States Senate adopted a number of recommendations from the Senate Park Commission, popularly known as the McMillan Commission. By 1910, a . . . — — Map (db m63940) HM
Limited funds and dramatic change in elevation at the Meridian Hill Park site -- falling 75 feet from north to south -- challenged the Commission of Fine Arts and their designers. The 16th Street edge required massive retaining walls to transition . . . — — Map (db m63944) HM
The Drum and Spear Bookstore, founded in 1968 by Charlie Cobb, a former secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, specialized in books written by black authors, and books on Asian, African, and African American subjects. Growing . . . — — Map (db m85756) HM
Youth from the Latin American Youth Center - Art + Media House used cameras and microphones to explore the changing faces of Columbia Heights’ people and places. Collaborating with community artists, youth researched neighborhood history, . . . — — Map (db m126148)
Youth from the Latin American Youth Center–Art + Media House used cameras and microphones to explore the changing faces of Columbia Heights' people and places. Collaborating with community artists, youth researched neighborhood history, . . . — — Map (db m111852) HM
Organized September 1928 at M Street and New York Avenue
Moved February 19, 1933
to Ninth Street and Rhode
Island Avenue, N.W.
Moved August 1950 to Thirteenth
and Clifton Street, N.W. — — Map (db m23651) HM
The 1100 and 1200 blocks of Girard Street once were home to a “Who’s Who” of African American leaders. This and nearby “double-blocks” are the heart of John Sherman’s Columbia Heights subdivision. By placing all houses 30 feet from the . . . — — Map (db m130747) HM
Youth from the Latin American Youth Center - Art + Media House used cameras and microphones to explore the changing faces of Columbia Heights’ people and places. Collaborating with community artists, youth researched neighborhood history, . . . — — Map (db m126149)
This spot once was the center of the Holmead family estate, "Pleasant Plains." The property stretched from today's Spring Road to Columbia Road, and from Georgia Avenue to Rock Creek. In 1740 the Holmeads built a house near here.
In 1802, . . . — — Map (db m150253) HM
Buchanan was our only bachelor president and relied upon his orphaned niece, Harriet Lane, to act as his First Lady during his years in the White House (1857 to 1861). In her estate, Harriet Lane Johnson made a bequest to fund a memorial to her . . . — — Map (db m156671) HM
These elegant 13th Street houses were constructed when racial separation was legal and widely accepted. In 1910 the deeds for many houses across 13th Street had covenants banning “any negro or colored persons.” Those on this side generally . . . — — Map (db m130748) HM
La Lotería Mexicana 🏳️🌈
La lotería es un juego similar al bingo que se originó en Italia en el siglo XV, pero en donde ha dejado huella en la cultura popular y las costumbres, ha sido en México. . . . — — Map (db m177212) HM
"A Black world in which a wonderful democracy of conditions prevailed — waitresses, doctors, preachers, winos, teachers, numbers runners and funeral directors, prostitutes and housewives, cabdrivers and laborers all lived as neighbors."
. . . — — Map (db m130749) HM
Fourteenth Street has always been the business backbone of Columbia Heights. Beginning in the 1890s, electric streetcars dropped passengers at nearly every corner, attracting commerce. By 1925 storefronts occupied the blocks between Euclid . . . — — Map (db m130750) HM
On your right is Josephine Butler Parks Center, home of Washington Parks & People, a network of groups devoted to DC and its parks. The network's 1927 mansion, which once housed the Hungarian delegation, was part of an embassy row envisioned . . . — — Map (db m130751) HM
Youth from the Latin American Youth Center—Art + Media House used cameras and microphones to explore the changing faces of Columbia Heights' people and places. Collaborating with community artists, youth researched neighborhood history, . . . — — Map (db m129069) HM
Low cost housing in Mount Pleasant in the decades following World War II made it an ideal place for immigrants to the area. Refugees fleeing World War II and the Cold War in Eastern Europe were the first group to arrive. A small Czech community . . . — — Map (db m130866) HM
Youth from the Latin American Youth Center—Art + Media House used cameras and microphones to explore the changing faces of Columbia Heights' people and places. Collaborating with community artists, youth researched neighborhood history, . . . — — Map (db m129027) HM
For nearly 50 years, this corner was home to Nob Hill Restaurant, one of the nation's first openly gay bars for-and run by-African Americans.
Started in the 1950s as a private social club, Nob Hill went public in 1957. Patrons enjoyed . . . — — Map (db m86014) HM
In the days of legally segregated public education (1862-1954), this school building was Central High, the gem of the School Board’s white division. But by 1949, it had few students, as the post-World War II suburban housing boom had drawn . . . — — Map (db m130752) HM
Noted landscape architects George Burnap and Horace Peaslee, who worked in the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds, designed Meridian Hill Park under the guidance of the Commission of Fine Arts. By 1914, Burnap had completed his basic design: a . . . — — Map (db m63952) HM
The Pitts Motor Hotel, formerly located at 1451 Belmont Street, lingers in memory for two reasons. In the 1960s it was a gathering place of Civil Rights movement leaders. Later it became a "welfare hotel."
In March 1968 the Reverend Dr. . . . — — Map (db m63706) HM
Straight ahead is All Souls Church, Unitarian, long known for its social activism, starting with abolitionism in the 1820s and ranging through nuclear disarmament and interracial cooperation. During the segregation era, All Souls was one of . . . — — Map (db m130753) HM
• 1957: First integrated Episcopal church in DC
• 1969: Began Loaves & Fishes feeding program; hot meals still served every Saturday and Sunday at Noon
• 1975: Ordained four women to the priesthood, resulting in the ordination of . . . — — Map (db m142192) HM
In 1920, Washington D. C. was home to the largest African American Community in the country. Numerous venues in the U Street area showcased prominent musicians and politicians of the day. On this site stood the Pitts Motel and its Red Carpet Lounge. . . . — — Map (db m63678) HM
This block is home to some of the largest Latino organizations in the city, all founded as migration from Central America and the Caribbean increased in the 1970s. Several began with a boost from Cavalry United Methodist Church at 1459 Columbia . . . — — Map (db m130754) HM
To The Glory of God
And in grateful memory of one of his servants
This building devoted to Christian education
Is named for
President of Princeton University 1902 — 1910
Governor of the state of New Jersey . . . — — Map (db m82615) HM
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court made its historic decision in Brown vs. Board of Education to end segregation in public schools. One of the lawsuits that made up this decision involved the DC schools, and the following September, . . . — — Map (db m130863) HM
On your left once stood Belmont, an impressive stone mansion built in 1883 by entrepreneur Amzi L. Barber, "America's Asphalt King." Barber headed the Education Department at Howard University at the time of its founding in 1867. He soon . . . — — Map (db m152933) HM
Meridian Hill Park might never have been built had it not been for the determination of Mary Foote Henderson (1846 - 1931). For 22 years, she lobbied Congress for funds to buy the land and build the park. Congress's 1910 vote to authorize . . . — — Map (db m63934) HM
The stone marking the Washington Meridian was formerly located 52 feet, nine inches west of this tablet which was presented by the Army and Navy Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. — — Map (db m82518) HM
Built in 1922, this Beaux-Arts mansion was designed by renowned American architect George Oakley Totten, and it served as the Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain from 1927 until the late 1990s, when a new official residence was inaugurated on . . . — — Map (db m177215) HM