Annual Meeting

Also Worth Visiting

Debbie Ann Doyle | Dec 1, 2003

Meridian Hill

Across Rock Creek in Mt. Pleasant, the National Park Service maintains Meridian Hill Park, bounded by 15th and 16th streets, Florida Avenue, and Irving Street NW. The park's gardens, terraces, water cascade, and elegant walkways were designed in 1912. An eclectic group of monuments to James Buchanan, Joan of Arc, and Dante and a statue of Serenity were added in the 1920s. Also known as Malcolm X park, the park has been a staging center for several marches and protests. Though the park was plagued by crime in the 1980s, community volunteers and the park service have drastically reduced crime and are working to restore the park's gardens and monuments. Though battered, the park is a vibrant center of community life. On summer weekends, it hosts an informal, multi-national soccer league, local residents, and an African drum circle whose rotating members have been gathering in the park for over thirty years.

Capitol Hill—Welcome to OUR Neighborhood

Capitol Hill is one of Washington, D.C.'s oldest residential neighborhoods, as well as the home of the legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government. In the early 19th century, members of Congress rented rooms in neighborhood boarding houses. Middle-class residents, many of them government workers, built the three story brick row houses that continue to dominate the neighborhood architecture.

Among the many historic buildings in this area are: The Frederick Douglass Residence at 316 A St. NE. Douglass lived here 1870–78. The Sewall-Belmont House, originally built in 1800 and rebuilt after the war of 1812 was from 1929 the headquarters of the National Women's Party and home of its leader, Alice Paul. Eastern Market at 7th and C Streets SE, built in 1873 as part of city wide system of public markets, was a 19th-century public market that is still in use today. The East Capitol Street Car Barn, was built in 1896 as the headquarters of one of D.C.'s private streetcar companies and is now reborn as apartments. Lincoln Park at East Capitol Street between 11th and 13th Streets contains the Emancipation Statue funded by contributions from former slaves and a statue honoring Mary Mcleod Bethune. The Marine Barrack and Marine Commandant's House at 8th Street and Barracks Row SE include interesting pre-Civil War wooden houses built in 1801–4. The barrack has operated since then but buildings are from 1904–7.

—Debbie Ann Doyle

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