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Archive for the ‘Washington’s D.C.’ Category

August 3, 2011

Washington’s D.C.: Tudor Place

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Deep in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s, Georgetown neighborhood lies a manse worthy of any George Washington fan’s trip: Tudor Place.

Home to Martha Washington’s granddaughter Martha Custis Peter and her husband Thomas Peter, the house, which is open to the public, hosts an array of items from the family’s ownership of the estate, which spanned six generations from the early 1800s until 1983. Most impressive amongst these belongings are the variety of Washington items ranging from china to a desk in which two of only a handful of extant letters between Martha and George were found.

The house, which was built by Dr. William Thornton, architect of the U.S. Capitol, witnessed the growth of Washington, D.C. In 1814 Martha Custis Peter could see the first U.S. Capitol burn from her house’s windows during the War of 1812.

Today a number of trees block such a view, but unlike Mount Vernon, Tudor Place is easily accessible to D.C. visitors who want to stay within the confines of short-distance public transportation. Located at 1644 31st St. NW, it’s a quick walk from Georgetown shopping and dining.

Category: Washington's D.C.

May 9, 2011

Washington’s D.C.: Thomas Law House

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Washington, D.C.’s Southwest neighborhood is known today for its crop of 1950s and ’60s condos that were part of a push for urban renewal that swept the quadrant. Another Southwest neighborhood highlight is D.C’s iconic fish market, a relic from the past where seafood is sold in open air. But lesser-known to residents and visitors alike is the area’s Thomas Law House, which was designed in 1794 for businessman Thomas Law and his wife, Eliza Parke Custis, granddaughter to Martha Washington.

Today the house sits inconspicuously back from the Potomac and serves as the community center for the Tiber Island cooperative housing complex, which it abuts. The house is one of only a few from the era that survived the sweep of urban renewal that changed the face of the neighborhood 60 years ago.

In the house’s heyday, it stood at the foot of 6th Street overlooking the water, but engineers have altered the shoreline since then and the house sits farther back from the shore today.

The Thomas Law House would be used for a number of purposes in the years after its original inhabitants moved out. During the Civil War is was the Mt. Vernon Hotel where guests could watch soldiers leave for and return from the war via the 6th Street wharf. From approximately 1913 to 1961 the house served as the Washington Sanitarium’s Mission Hospital, which provided services for the area’s poor and working class.

Today the house is closed to the public, but sits on a grassy, accessible lawn that is steps from Southwest’s handful of shoreline restaurants and a brief walk from the fish market.

“Washington’s D.C.” explores George Washington landmarks in and around the Federal City, which we know today as Washington, D.C.

Category: Washington's D.C.

March 22, 2011

Washington’s D.C.: Washington Circle

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Today cars speed past a bronze, equestrian statue of George Washington, depicted as commander in chief of the Continental Army, that stands in the middle of Washington Circle in D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

The statue, which was made by sculptor Clark Mills and was dedicated in 1860, stands in the middle of the city’s first traffic circle, which was laid out, enclosed and planted with lawn, shrubs and trees in 1856.

Streetcar tracks were laid around the circle in 1862, but were soon neglected during the Civil War. The park has undergone a number of improvements and redesigns throughout the years, such as the 1961-1962 addition of the K Street underpass.

The circle is located near the George Washington University campus, metro stop and hospital, where 23rd Street, K Street and New Hampshire Avenue intersect.

“Washington’s D.C.” is a new blog series that explores George Washington landmarks in and around the Federal City, which we know today as Washington, D.C.

Category: Washington's D.C.

March 1, 2011

Washington’s D.C.: Forrest Marbury House

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In our newest blog series, “Washington’s D.C.” we’ll be exploring the traces of George Washington that can be found in and around the Federal City, or what we know today as Washington, D.C.

Although it was Congress that deemed a permanent capital should be located on the Potomac, George Washington had chosen the exact spot. On March 29, 1791, General Oriah Forrester, a major landowner who had both served under George Washington and was a personal friend, had the president to dinner. At Forrester’s house, located at what is today 1350 M Street NW in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood, George Washington met with landowners from Carrollsburg and Georgetown, two local communities. The landowners had pushed to have the capital located on their property and Washington agreed that half their land located in the 10-mile square that was to become the Federal City would be purchased for that purpose

Thus the Federal City was officially underway. The house, which was built between 1788 and 1790, would go on to be owned by John Marbury (the plaintiff in the famous Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison), and is today home to the Embassy of Ukraine.

Category: Washington's D.C.

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Portraits in Schools

Kids holding George Washington Portrait

Mount Vernon recently invited K-12 schools nationwide to request framed portraits of George Washington to display in a respectful, prominent place.

The response was overwhelming: thousands of schools submitted letters! Along with the portrait, schools received curriculum materials to help explore our first president’s contributions.

Where has George Washington gone back to school? Click here to see!

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