H Street Heritage Trail Mtg Wednesday
Date: Wednesday April 2
Location: Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street
Agenda: research reports; more discussion of trail name, icon, and route; planning for the application through Cultural History DC.
Minutes from the last meeting-
H Street Heritage Trail Working Group Meeting
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Atlas Center for the Arts
1333 H Street, NW
NEXT MEETINGS: Weds., April 2 and Tues., May 6, at 7 pm at the Atlas
Agenda: research reports; more discussion of trail name, icon, and route; planning for the application.
Please check for your name on the to-do list at the end of these notes.
And Please pass this notice on to working group members who may not have e-mail.
Thomas Gallo welcomed attendees to the fourth meeting of the working group, on February 19, 2008.
* Mary Bakota, resident of Elliott Street
* Barbara Miller Murphy, life-long neighborhood resident (her family arrived here when her mother was 8), grew up at 1308 Maryland Avenue and now lives on F Street.
* Jezerey Widerman, reporter for Voice of the Hill
* Alice Norris, resident of 10th and E since about 1968, participated on the Barracks Row Heritage Trail Working Group
* Thomas Gallo, convenor, works on H Street
* Doug Pulak, DC resident for past nine years, works in historic preservation for GSA
* Elise Fisher, born at 10th and Florida. Her grandfather had a candy store at Sixth and H about 1900. She and her brother played at Gallaudet (she will look for photos). she went to the movies at the Apollo and Princess theaters, and attended Wheatley Elementary.
* Melvin Warther, father ran a five and dime at 814 H Street until 1953, although the family moved away in 1948.
* Ramona Service, long-time neighborhood resident, now lives at Delta Tower, organizer of oral history sessions there
* Rob Santamaria, lives on Eighth Street and works for a social services agency and New York and Florida avenues
* Monisha Sujan, has an M.A. in history
* Gloria Corbitt, son and husband are native Washingtonians
* Marqui Lyons, native Washingtonian
* Anwar Saleem, life-long neighborhood resident and head of H Street Main Street Inc.
* Chris Swanson, DC resident for 14 years, owns Pierce School Lofts and other properties
* Rick Burns, moved to DC eight years ago, moved to H Street in May 2007, has conducted oral histories for the project
* Bill Dunn, native Washingtonian, history teacher, in neighborhood for five years.
* Jen deMayo, Atlas Center for the Arts, eight years at 11th and G
* Mara Cherkasky and Jane Freundel Levey – Cultural Tourism DC
Jane Freundel Levey explained the Heritage Trail process.
Mary Bakota reported that she had contacted Gonzaga High School but had not yet found someone to give her information. She showed a photo history of Capitol Hill (published by Arcadia) with images of a music school on Maryland Avenue near G Street (it moved there from 12th Street). She said the original owner’s granddaughter, Andrea Kelly, now owns the house and has the original photos.
Melvin Warther described some of his memories of the neighborhood. He went to Blair and Hayes elementary schools, Storr Junior High near Union Station, and then McKinley Tech. He had friends around Eighth or Ninth and H, including Pete Freita and Bobby Heffner. He remembers two auto shops owned by guys named Meadows and Kieler. He also remembers the Deal Funeral Home, a flower store, pool hall, Peoples Drug Store, Chinese Village restaurant, two banks (American Security and Hamilton) at Eighth and H. Club Kavakos hosted Gene Krupa and big bands, although Mr. Warther never went because he was too young then. He will look for photos. He does have a newspaper clipping, with a photo, about a wind storm that blew the roof off the building across the street from the store. He also remembers Jan. 15, 1953, when a train crashed into Union Station, and an explosion occurred at Standard Tire & Battery at Ninth or 10th and H, both on the same day. His father helped an injured fireman until the ambulance came. Other memories: McCall’s Drug Store across the street had vats (glass jars?) of colored liquids; the hardware store up the street that burned down during the riots; the Darling Shop (variety store) up the street; and Dr. Bosworth.
Ms. Murphy mentioned that the Kavakos family lived in the neighborhood. Mr. Warther remembered two other Greek families in the neighborhood: Kronos and Chaconas (they had a restaurant/bar at Ninth and H).
Barbara Miller Murphy said: “Even during segregation this was an integrated neighborhood.” She also said there had been a toll gate at 15th and Benning Road, and her neighborhood association had called itself Tollgate Neighborhood Association. The farm at Gallaudet sold milk, flowers, and other products, she said.
Bill Dunn said his next-door neighbor, Miss Simms of 715 12th Street, who has been there 70-some years, needs to be interviewed. She also has photos.
Other information offered at the meeting:
- Moms Mabley lived at First and Florida
- There was a dance studio at 21st and Benning in the 1940s
- Capital Hill Arcadia picture books has photos of H Street
- H Street was second only to downtown as a center of shopping in its heyday (1920s-1950s), had added plus of not being segregated.
Jane Levey led a discussion of trail titles, based on the neighborhood’s status as a transportation corridor, a crossroads, an important commercial area, an educational center, and a place with several movie theaters and circus/carnival grounds. The group came up with a number of possible titles:
-A Cultural Experience
-A Neighborhood for Everyone
-A Place of Our Own
-A Place to Be
-A Unique Community
-All Souls Crossroads
-Cinema, Combustion, Co-habitation
-Commerce to Culture
-Crossing Commerce and Community
-Everything Was Here
-Everything You Want
-Greatest Show in DC
-Happening on H
-Here and Happening
-Highlight of the City
-Hometown Main Street
-Honoring our History
-Hub of the City
-Market to the City
-Melting Pot for the City
-Something for Everyone
-The Beaten Path
-The Beaten Track
Ideas for an icon:
* an early 20th-century storefront with people
* a painting of a store or house by Brett Busang
* portrait of Judge R.L. Christian, for whom the branch library is named.
Tasks with Volunteers
Anwar Saleem will check into using McKinley High School’s TV studio and equipment and bringing students into the project (and/or having H Street Main Street puchase equipment)
Anwar Saleem will ask Pat Collins about his father’s medical practice
Mary Bakota will continue researching Gonzaga
Thomas Gallo has spoken with the Kokino Family and Delta Tower residents; need to give notes and tape to CTdc staf.
Thomas Gallo will interview Anwar Saleem and Helen Wood
Marqui Lyons will interview Pullman porter families and look into connecting with McKinley Tech students
Rick Burns will interview Melvin Warther
Tasks Needing Volunteers
Interview daughter of owner of Calvin A. Beauty Salon, formerly a beauty academy (she has photos) [We need her name.]
Interview daughter of Judge R.L Christian (library’s namesake) and request photos [We need her name.]
Research congressional staffers who settled on E Street
Research Dr. Granville Moore (African American physician who grew up in the neighborhood)
Interview Nadine Winters (now lives in SW but ran Hospitality House, was Council Member)
Interview Barbara Miller Murphy, born here in 1936, father was working in the basement of Union Station when the runaway train crashed into the station.
Interview Elise Fisher, father owned Fisher Candy Store at 600 H, played at Gallaudet, bought produce from the Gallaudet farm
Miss Simms of 715 12th Street, 70-year resident, has photos (Bill Dunn’s neighbor)
If you can take one of the above tasks, please contact Mara at 202-661-7582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.