Archive for July, 2009

Lost Washington: Norfolk and Washington’s Northland

Posted in Lost Washington, Ships with tags , , on July 31, 2009 by Kent

N&W NorthlandThe Northland was built by the Harlan & Hollingsworth Corp., Wilmington, Del., in 1911 for the Norfolk and Washington Steamboat Company. Like the Southland, she transported passengers and freight between Washington and Norfolk.
Steamer Northland Deck Plans

During the first part of World War II, she operated as a transport with the British Navy. She was assigned the name Leyden (IX-167) on May 18, 1944, and was acquired by the Navy and commissioned May 22, 1944, Lt. William S. Johnson in command.

From her commissioning until July 1945, Leyden operated as a naval auxiliary in British staging areas and French ports during the final European campaigns of World War II. Leyden was decommissioned at Falmouth, England July 23, 1945, for return to the War Shipping Administration, and was sold to the Fu Chung International Corp. November 7, 1946. She was renamed Hung Chong. She was broken up as scrap in 1955.
N&W Northland

Murals at Park View Rec Center Progressing

Posted in Paintings, Park View with tags , , on July 31, 2009 by Kent

While still in the very early stages, I wanted to show that the murals at the Park View Rec Center are under way. The murals are being created by Park View youth in partnership with the Latin American Youth Center. You can read more about the murals from my earlier post.Park View Rec Center MuralsMurals at Park View Rec Center

Entry Door Restoration

Posted in Renovation and Restoration, Uncategorized with tags , on July 31, 2009 by Kent

Door that came with the houseDoor restoration project

While the photo on the left is admittedly a little rough, its good enough to give an accurate idea of the horrible, horrible door that greeted you when you entered our house when we first moved in. The image on the right is what we’ve replaced it with.

I’d say that the first obstacle you have to overcome is finding a door the correct size. It is only relatively recently that doors and windows started to come in standard sizes. That means that you are rarely able to buy a door right of the floor and install it in an old house.

We were lucky to find an original door to our street that a neighbor was willing to part with. Of course, they were willing to sell the door because it was in rough shape. With a lot of work — which included repairing broken and missing wood, having the leaded glass rebuilt, and replacing the larger panes with security glass — the door was finally able to be installed.

I know its a lot more work than most folks would do, but having a door that is appropriate to the house was worth it.
Door restoration projectYou can see some in process shots after the jump Continue reading

Historic House Colors

Posted in Renovation and Restoration with tags on July 31, 2009 by Kent

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the cart comes before the horse. We were well into painting the trim colors of our house before I ever discovered this 1917 paint sample from the Old House Colors Web site.

Ironically, most of the colors we’d already chosen were either on this chart, or close to it. Since our house was also built in 1917 I found that fortunate.

Still, finding the sample did save the day. We needed to pick a color for the porch ceiling and just couldn’t find the right blue. After finding this sample, we ended up choosing a yellow ochre … a color I otherwise would not even have considered.

Operation Backpack Needs More Help

Posted in Schools with tags on July 31, 2009 by Kent

The following email was distributed on the Georgia Avenue Listserv yesterday, and with school nearly upon us, it struck me as being critical that the word get out. If you are in a situation where you can help that would be great.

The Central Union Mission is currently planning for our back-to-school program, Operation Backpack, in which we provide backpacks and school supplies to children from low-income families in the DC Metro area. This program will only be successful with your help. By becoming a sponsor you will ensure that a child starts the school year off with the supplies they will need to lead them to success. Hurry, there’s only 10 days left and we still have over 100 children without a sponsor! If you, your business/organization or church would like more information about how to get involved, please contact Ben Doggett at, or 202-745-7118. Thank you for you help!

This Date in History

Posted in July with tags on July 31, 2009 by Kent

July 31, 1911: A hearing began before the pure food experts of the Department of Agriculture, which was designed to give a legal reply to the question, “What is beer?” It was the purpose of the Government to bring beer and like beverages within the scope of the pure food and drug act of 1906.
Heurich's Beers Insures Cleanliness

Farragut Square Plan ca. 1886

Posted in Farragut Square with tags , on July 30, 2009 by Kent

Farragut Square ca. 1886The basic plan of Farragut Square has been stable over the years. The only real changes that have occurred have been in lighting and foliage.

Below is the list of what was planted in the square in 1886.
Farragut Square flora
Another interesting image is this one from the first quarter of the 20th century showing the style of the gas lamps that once graced the park.
Farragut Square ca. 1910

New Additions to Historic Structures

Posted in Development, Renovation and Restoration with tags , on July 30, 2009 by Kent
The alley facades of many Capitol Hill homes do not look like the historic fronts

The alley facades of many Capitol Hill homes do not look like the historic fronts

Here’s a debate I’ve been having with a neighbor of mine: When you add on to a building that’s  90+ years old, do you have to keep the style of the older structure or are you allowed to depart from that style?

Historical Districts and codes aside, I’d like to know what people think from a personal perspective.

I view is that there should be truth in architecture and that construction should be of its time. If that means you meticulously restore a historic house and then put a modern addition on it, to me that’s acceptable. Unify styles with form, scale, and color.

My neighbor thinks that any construction connected to an older building should look like the older building. While I can see where some MAY want to go that route, I don’t agree that it is the only correct way to proceed.

Pennsylvania Avenue ca. 1910

Posted in Penn Quarter with tags , , on July 30, 2009 by Kent

Pennsylvania Avenue ca. 1910This view of Pennsylvania is from 12th Street and is looking toward the northwest.

Update on Quebec Place Homicide

Posted in Crime, Park View with tags , on July 30, 2009 by Kent

DC Superior courtOn the same night as the Metro tragedy there was a violent homicide on the 600 block of Park View. The only good news was that the assailant was apprehended.

While its going to take a while for this case to work its way through the courts, I wanted to give an update to my last report on where things stood with the accused.

On July 24th, the preliminary hearing was held and probable cause was found in the case pending a Grand Jury. The accused will continue to be held without bond. The next court date is set for October 23, 2009.