Would you Like to Live on Putnam Street Instead of Rock Creek Church Rd.? The U.S. Senate Once Considered It

While the renaming of Brightwood Avenue to Georgia Avenue in 1908 by an act of Congress is well documented, I’ve recently learned that the U.S. Senate also contemplated renaming Rock Creek Church Road to Putnam Street in late 1910 and early 1911. Below is an article from the Evening Star dated December 14, 1910, which provides some background on that effort and linking it to a resident on the street who happened to be a member of Alabama Senator Joseph F. Johnston’s staff.

Name change for Rock Creek Church Road 1910

Apparently, the proposal to rename the thoroughfare was opposed by residents of the area, but supported by the District Commissioners. The article below — from the Evening Star dated January 1, 1911 — provides more details, including the origin of Rock Creek Church Road’s name.

Name change for RCCR Jan 1 1911 Evening Star

In searching through the Congressional Record, I was able to find that Senator Gallinger presented “memorials of the Park View Citizens’ Association and of sundry citizens of Washington, D.C., remonstrating against the proposed change of the name … ” on January 13, 1911 and he further “presented a memorial of the Citizens’ Association of Petworth, D.C. … against the enactment of legislation proposing to change the name … ” on January 16, 1911. In both instances, the memorials were referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia. (46 Cong. Rec. 835 1911; 46 Cong. Rec. 923 1911).

Thus far, I can find no reference to the legislation making it out of Committee … and as the street still bears the original name of Rock Creek Church Road … can only presume that the immediate and broad-based community opposition to the Senate proposal won the day.

Explore posts in the same categories: History, Streets and Trees

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