Archive for June, 2009

Lost Washington: Wisteria House

Posted in Downtown, Lost Washington with tags , on June 30, 2009 by Kent

Wisteria House ca. 1920Once located on the northwest corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 11th Street, NW, the Wisteria House was built during the Civil War (ca. 1863) for hardware merchant William Thomas. Thomas added a two story portico in 1869. The Wisteria was brought to Washington from China and was a gift to Thomas by a naval officer.

In 1878, Thomas moved to Saint Louis. The new owner was Gustavus Ricker, a businessman with investments in marble, iron, and railroads. Ricker removed the original gable roof and added a third story with a flat roof in 1882.

Upon Ricker’s death, his widow continued to live in the home until her death in 1922. The house was razed in 1924 to make way for the Wisteria Mansions Apartments.Wisteria House detail

Homicides Down Nearly 20%, MPD Reports

Posted in Crime with tags , on June 30, 2009 by Kent

The Washington Post reported today that:

With 2009 half over, the number of homicides reported by police in the District — 66 — is 20 percent below last year’s figure and is on pace to be the lowest yearly total in decades.

If the homicide rate continued through December, the total for 2009 would be 134. That would be 52 fewer slayings than last year and 47 fewer than in 2007. It would be 35 fewer than in 2006.

With some very high profile, and violent, homicides in recent weeks, its hard to keep this larger picture in mind. The city still has its hot spots, and 14th Street seems to have several of them. If one can say there is a bright side to these violent crimes, it would be that several of the perpetrators have actually been caught, arrested, and awaiting trial.

Vintage Ride of the Week: 1937 Plymouth

Posted in Uncategorized, Vintage Vehicles with tags , on June 30, 2009 by Kent

1937  PlymouthOther than this being a 1937 Plymouth, I don’t know anything more specific. There is a lot of information here if you can figure out which data is relevant to this sedan.

I was surprised to see this car on the 400 block of Newton over the weekend. At first I thought maybe someone had driven in for the Caribbean Festival on Saturday, but then I saw it was still there on Sunday.

Either way, it was a beautiful car.

1937 PlymouthMore images after the jump Continue reading

View of Old Soldiers’ Home Park

Posted in Park View on June 30, 2009 by Kent

Old Soldiers' Home park
Here’s a photograph from a stereoscope card of the bridge just east of Park Road in the Old Soldiers’ Home park. This image dates to the second half of the 19th Century, and shows the grounds when they were more or less open to the public.

H Street Neon: Shoe Repair

Posted in Neon with tags , on June 30, 2009 by Kent

H Street Shoe Repair signHere’s a remnant from the past that I’m glad is still around. While the entire sign is lit all the time, I suspect that this was once much more animated, with the hands and hammers alternating giving the impression of actually hammering on a shoe’s sole.

Fireworks, Please, No Smoking

Posted in Random Observations with tags on June 30, 2009 by Kent

Fireworks please no smokingSigns like this feed into an ongoing conversation that my brother and I have been having. There are a whole slew of signs that on the surface, to anyone with common sense, seem silly because they are so obvious. Here, it only makes sense that you wouldn’t smoke around fireworks.

lawn.mower.warning.labelAnother sign/label that falls into this catagory is the warning on lawn mowers not to reach under them while they are operating.

What is sad, we presume, is that each warning label owes its existence to an unfortunate individual that actually did exactly what the label warns against. In order to safeguard against future lawsuits, labels and signs are created and posted to warn agaist specific actions and prevent further harm to others.

Get Your Fireworks!!! While They Last

Posted in Holidays, Park View, Petworth with tags , , , , on June 30, 2009 by Kent

The firework stand on the corner of Rock Creek Church Rd & New Hampshire Avenue is finally open for business … so get them while they last!Fireworks stand open