Archive for the Presidents Category
NPR’s Morning Edition had a story on President Lincoln and the Lincoln Cottage this morning. You can read or listen to the segment here>>
While this historic site and the Soldiers’ Home where it is located is presently located between North Capitol Street and the neighborhoods of Petworth and Park View, it is hard to imagine that during Lincoln’s time the entire area was wilderness.
Pauline was the pet of President William Howard Taft and is seen here grazing on the south lawn of the White House. She supplied the Taft family with fresh milk daily. (Image Courtesy DC Public Library Commons’ photostream)
The structure that became known as the Little Green House @ 1625 K Street, NW, started out its history innocently enough. In 1880, Mr. J. B. Edmonds of Iowa purchased the property and erected the house of green stone for $17,000. Mr. Edmonds was a retired lawyer.
The Edmonds family lived in the home until Mrs. Lydia M. Edmonds passed away on November 18, 1912. At that time, the Edmonds estate was valued at about $550,000.
The house took on a level of notoriety during the administration of Warren G. Harding. When he took office in 1921, and the Ohio Gang followed him to town, the house was leased by an Ohio politician turned lobbyist who also happened to be a friend of Harry M. Daugherty, Harding’s Attorney General.
In the next two years the home was the scene of Presidential poker parties and revelry of a more spectacular sort (some even went so far as to suggest orgies). One writer of the time described the home as a rendezvous where shady political-business deals were consummated over bottles of confiscated liquor.
The whole thing came to public notice when the Harding administration suddenly collapsed. Time and again during Senate committees and before courts of law, the Little Green House was named as the place where less than above board Government deals were made.
In the final years of the house it had a quiet existence. It was vacant for several years and eventually was a home for several fraternities. In 1931 it was remodeled as a business office.
The home was eventually razed in April of 1941 to make way for a $500,000, 1,260,000 cubic ft. office building. The Commonwealth building was built in 1943, with renovations in 1996 and 2002, and is still there today.
May 13, 1966: President Johnson signed into law a bill freeing the first funds for two of his controversial antipoverty programs–rent subsidies and a National Teacher Corps.
Now that I’m keeping my eyes open for Fairey’s art around town, I’ve actually started to notice quite a few. This one of Obama, from which the portrait in the National Portrait Gallery is based, is on 14th Street, NW, just north of U and is part of a much larger grouping. I haven’t been able to get a good shot of all of them, as its a construction zone right now. Perhaps this weekend I’ll be able to remedy that.