Archive for the ‘People’ category

Park View Among D.C.’s Transitioning Neighborhoods, Study Reports

June 18, 2013

Gentrifyine thumbnailBoth the Washington Business Journal and DCist reported yesterday that a draft report was filed with a city tax review board that identified 18 District neighborhoods as gentrifying, or transitioning. The method employed in the analysis used the following criteria:

  1. In 2001, if the neighborhood has a median property and federal adjusted gross income values below the respective citywide medians; and,
  2. And from this subset of neighborhoods, identify which of these grew faster (in median property and income values) than the relative income and home values in the city.

In reviewing the paper’s neighborhood map (click on thumbnail above), it is quickly evident that the report identified neighborhood “areas” rather than true neighborhoods, thus indicating that there are more than 18 Washington neighborhoods in transition. For instance, the Columbia Heights node includes Park View, Pleasant Plains, and Ward 4’s North Columbia Heights area. But regardless of the actual neighborhood boundaries or how many neighborhoods are impacted, the overall map does paint a picture of a significant portion of the city in transition.

According to the report, neighborhoods in transition tended to have younger populations, with the people moving into them tending to be more prosperous. Race did not appear to be a major factor in neighborhood gentrification overall, with some neighborhoods, such as Deanwood or Marshall Heights, being over 90% black both in 2000 and today.

The 18 neighborhoods identified in the paper are:

  • Anacostia
  • Barry Farms
  • Brentwood
  • Brookland
  • Chillum
  • Columbia Heights
  • Congress Heights
  • Deanwood
  • Eckington
  • Fort Dupont Park
  • H Street NE
  • Ledroit Park
  • Lily Ponds
  • Marshall Heights
  • Petworth
  • Randle Heights
  • 16th Street Heights
  • Trinidad

Park View Rec Center Starts Garden for Youth

May 2, 2013

The Park View Recreation Center has started a small garden for the community youth. With all the community gardens in the area, I’m pleased to see that the Rec Center has installed some raised beds for the children. They are located between the fences on the Princeton Place side of the property.

The raised beds of the youth garden.

The raised beds of the youth garden.


Earth Day Brings Park View Park Cleanup Event

April 25, 2013
Volunteers Working at Earth Day Cleanup.

Volunteers Working at Earth Day Cleanup.

Guest post by Sarah Sorscher

A few neighbors celebrated Earth Day by giving back to the community at the newly renovated Park View Park. At the Earth Day Park and Community Cleanup on Saturday April 20th, neighbors joined volunteers from the Event Promotion firm, PMG, to weed and clear the area between the high and short fences separating the Park View Park multipurpose field from Princeton Place. PMG volunteers had traveled from as far as Florida to attend the Earth Day Broccoli Festival. They took time from a busy weekend of sightseeing and festival work to make a positive contribution to our community. Thanks PMG!

Committed neighbors who came to the park for the event and loaned tools had a big impact, as did the kids who pitched in and made an adult-sized difference.

The event was sponsored by the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition and Friends of Park View Park. Organizers hope to continue to hold monthly gardening events at the park throughout the summer.

Below are some additional photos from the event.

Kids at Earth Day Cleanup

Family at Earth Day Cleanup

Couple at Earth Day Cleanup


Easter Egg Hunt/Cookout At Park View Rec this Saturday

March 28, 2013

Egg Hunt 2013

Here’s an event that will help break in the newly renovated Park View Recreation Center. This Saturday, March 30, from 1 p.m. to 4  p.m. the Park View Kids Zone will have a moon bounce, snow cones, face painting, relay games, kickball, tug of war, and and egg hunt for the kids. They will also have a spades, uno, and dominos area set up for the older folks and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament happening for high school teens & adults, male and females are welcome to play! Teams need to register by 2 p.m. on Saturday at the sign up table! There will also be food and drinks for everyone! The entire neighborhood is invited to come out!

The days schedule will be as followed:

  • 1 p.m.: Moon Bounce, food, free play, face painting, card games, and music throughout the day!
  • 2 p.m: 3 on 3 Basketball tournament & Free Throw Contest will start and go until 4 p.m.! Relay games and tug of war will start!
  • 3 p.m.: Neighborhood Kickball Game (All ages)
  • 3:30 p.m.: Egg Hunt for kids will start
  • 4 p.m.: Announce winners of 3 on 3 Basketball tournament! Event ends.


Important Past Residents: Percussionist Barnett E. Williams

January 17, 2013

Image of Barnett Williams from, Photo credit: Christopher Anderson/The Gazette

Shortly after I started distributing the Park View Walking Trail brochure, I starting receiving emails informing me of notable persons and places connected to the neighborhood’s history. One of those individuals was percussionist Barnett E. Williams.

While I still have more research to do on Williams, I was told that he grew up on the 600 block of Rock Creek Church Road and confirmed that he lived at 634 Rock Creek Church Road by looking at DC Recorder of Deeds documents. The 2006 obituary from the Washington Post also provides the following:

Barnett Edward Williams, 61, a percussionist who lived his life to the beat of African drums and who loved sharing the drumming tradition with other enthusiasts, died March 4 of a heart attack at the home in the District where he was born. He was a District resident.

Mr. Williams, who was artist in residence for Fairfax County’s School Age Child Care Program, could be found on most Sunday afternoons in recent years in a drumming circle in the District’s Meridian Hill Park, also known as Malcolm X Park. Sweat-soaked on a summer afternoon, his palms callused from decades of drumming, he and fellow percussionists would pound out a seductive beat on squat West African djembes or maybe Senegalese kimbe drums or tall, sleek congas, as well as on maracas, bongos, cymbals and cowbells.

Considered one of the elders of the drumming circle, he started drumming at the historic park along 16th Street NW in 1967, when he was 11.

In addition, he was lead percussionist with Gil Scott-Heron and the Midnight Band and performed with Donald Byrd, Oscar Brown Jr., Candido, Dr. Billy Taylor and Donny Hathaway. Later, Williams founded the D.C. Percussion Society and formed the group Drums of Fire. With Melvin Deal, he founded the group African Heritage Dancers and Drummers.

The full obituary is really worth reading to understand just how accomplished Barnett E. Williams was.


Park View Playground in 1938

January 11, 2013

I’ve been looking for a good photo of the old Park View Playground for a while now, and finally I’ve found one. While the scan below isn’t the best, at least I now know of another image I need a good scan of (future goal).

The photo dates to August 26, 1938, and shows the playground from the school. Princeton Place is in the background. This photo was taken a mere six years after the field house was built and wading pool installed. It also shows swings along Warder Street, teeter totters along Princeton to the east of the field house, and I believe a tennis court to the west of the field house.Park View playground 8 26 1938(Image: Star Collection, D.C. Public Library, (c) Washington Post)


George Walker: Prominent Composer & Washingtonian Grew Up on Sherman Avenue

December 24, 2012
(ASSOCIATED PRESS) - A 1996 photograph of George Walker

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) – A 1996 photograph of George Walker

I truly hope folks read the article in Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine about composer George Walker. If not, Parlor piano inspired career is available online and you can catch up on your reading. I’m highlighting this not only because I find Walker’s life and accomplishments inspirational, but because he grew up in our community.

His childhood home is located at 3222 Sherman Avenue, NW. Walker was born in 1922 and according to the Post article, considered this his home until his farther died in 1954.

His father emigrated to the United States, where he became a physician after graduating from Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia.  George Walker’s mother, Rosa King, supervised her son’s first piano lessons that began when he was five years of age. His first teacher was Miss Mary L. Henry. Mrs. Lillian Mitchell Allen, who had earned a doctorate in music education, became his second piano teacher. There is a good overview of his career here.

George Walker grew up at 3222 Sherman Avenue, NW.

George Walker grew up at 3222 Sherman Avenue, NW.

In 1997, mayor Marion Barry proclaimed June 14 George Walker Day in the District of Columbia. The citation that accompanied that proclamation summed up Walker’s accomplishments as follows:

“A native Washingtonian and a product of D.C. public schools, . . . he was the first black graduate of the Curtis Institute, the first black to earn a doctorate degree from the Eastman School of Music, the first black pianist to play with the Philadelphia Orchestra and to obtain major management under the aegis of National Concert Artists and Columbia Artists Management; and in 1996, was the first black recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music.”

Walker is certainly someone all Washingtonians should be familiar with and proud of.



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