What Could a Park View Heritage Trail Look Like?

One idea for a Park View trail could look like this (green dots)

With the Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains (GA/PP) Heritage Trail scheduled to come on-line in October 2011, I thought it was a good time to revisit the idea of a similar trail for Park View. To that end, I’ve created one version of how such a trail could look and indicated some of the information that could be at each stop. My concept map is to the right (green dots) and has been overlayed on top of the GA/PP map to show how the two trails might relate to each other.

Possible points of interest:

  1. The intersection of Rock Creek Church Road/Georgia Avenue/New Hampshire Avenue. Among the items that the sign could include are Engine Co. 24, the Little Tavern Shops, York Auto (introduction of car culture to society), and Peoples Drug Stores.
  2. At the intersection of Georgia and Princeton, there could be a sign dedicated to the York Theater & Georgia Theater. It could also focus on movies in general and mention other movie locations along Georgia Avenue.
  3. At the intersection of Georgia and Otis Place: possible subjects could be the American Security & Trust Company, York Haberdasher, and White House butler Eugene Allen.
  4. Around 750 Park Road: the sign could focus on the early days of policing the sparsely populated 10th precinct with mounted police or even Harry Houdini’s escape from a locked jail cell here. Information on Judge William C. Hueston would also be appropriate here.
  5. After walking along Sherman Ave. to get from Park to Lamont, this sign would be devoted entire to the Arcade Sunshine Laundry facility and the role of industry in Washington.
  6. Returning back to Georgia Avenue a sign in this area could either focus on Harry Wardman who built the houses on Lamont and Keefer, or it could present information on the streetcar service that once ran along Georgia Avenue.
  7. At the corner of Irving the trail would turn east. At this location it would be appropriate to talk about the importance of baseball in early 20th century Washington. This was the site of the Park View club’s baseball field.
  8. Moving to the southern end of the neighborhood, a sign could inform readers about the McMillan Reservoir.
  9. As the trail moved up Park Place, stopping again at Irving Street would provide an opportunity to present information on W.W. Corcoran, Harewood Hospital, and the Soldiers’ Home Dairy farm.
  10. Stopping at the intersection of Park Place and Park Road before turning west, this would be an ideal location to address the use of the Soldiers’ Home as a public park before the gate was permanently closed in 1955.
  11. After turning north on Warder, a sign could be placed near 3548 Warder street, the final home of Confederate veteran Maj. Robert W. Wilson. This would be an opportunity to explore the many veterans that have lived in the neighborhood near the Soldiers’ Home as well as at the home.
  12. A sign at the Park View School would be a no brainer. There is probably too much history here for one sign to contain.
  13. Stopping at the Park View playground before heading east on Princeton Place, this sign could not only document the importance of public space to communities but also the history of segregation and desegregation of both the school and the playground.
  14. Eventually moving to Reserve 321-A, a sign here could be devoted to Edgar S. Kennedy and his building of northern Park View.
  15. The final sign could be located in the area of 730/756 Rock Creek Church Road, where it could present information on a number of fronts — such as General Edward Whitaker and the surrender of Lee’s army or his daughter Grace Seibold and the founding of Gold Star Mothers. It could also include Washington Senator’s baseballer Lenny Green.

I’m sure that a community-wide effort to pursue a heritage trail for Park View would uncover even more interesting stories during the discovery phase. The only real obstacle is money. The funding stream that supported the Columbia Heights and coming GA/PP trail is no longer available.

All of which begs the question, is a heritage trail for our community worth pursuing?


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6 Comments on “What Could a Park View Heritage Trail Look Like?”

  1. IMGoph Says:

    Kent, with you in the lead on a project like this, I don’t know how it could fail!

  2. John H. Says:

    You’re going to get Lincoln in there somewhere, aren’t you?

  3. Kent Says:

    I don’t see why not. I certainly wouldn’t want to exclude anything important and would hope that additional content/locations would come out during public meetings.

  4. Dave Says:

    That’s still cool that he rode RCC Road regularly. 🙂

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