Archive for Shaw

Then and Now: Selling Gas at Florida Ave & P Street, NE

Posted in Eckington, Gas & Service Stations, Shaw, Then and Now with tags , , , on July 27, 2009 by Kent

Florida Ave. & P Street, NE, 1929BP at Florida & P St, NE, 2009

Then and Now: The corner of Florida and P has been providing gas for automobiles for over 80 years. The photo on the left was taken in 1929 when the Penn Oil Company was doing business there. Today the corner is operated by BP.

Then and Now: 14th & P Streets, NW

Posted in Shaw, Then and Now with tags , , on June 29, 2009 by Kent

Trew Motor companyThen: The Trew Motor Co ca. 1920, located on the northeast corner of 14th and P Streets, NW.

Studio theatreNow: The Studio Theatre.

Lost Washington: The Broadway Theater

Posted in Lost Washington, Shaw, Theaters with tags , , on June 25, 2009 by Kent

The Broadway Theater, once located at 1517 7th Street, NW, was built at a cost of $40,000 in 1921. It was built of brick and terra cotta with a Spanish tile roof. The building measured nearly 70 feet wide on 7th Street by 100 feet deep and was designed by the firm of Milburn, Heister & Co.Broadway Theatre

Then and Now: The O Street Market

Posted in Markets, Shaw with tags , on June 24, 2009 by Kent

Northern MarketThen: The Northern Market, aka the O Street Market, photographed in August, 1959 (Image from Historical Society of Washington, DC, #PR 0011B).

Northern Market aka O Street MarketNow: A shell of its former self since its roof collapsed in 2003.

Located on the northwest corner of 7th and O Streets, NW, the Northern Market dates to 1881, when a group of displaced vendors selected the land after Boss Shepherd demolished the original Northern Liberties Market in 1872.

By July 21, 1881, the market — which ran 192 feet on 7th street and 90 feet along O Street — had foundations laid and the walls five feet above the ground. The building was scheduled to be ready for rafters and roofing by August 1. When completed, the market was estimated to cost $19,200 with land costing $23,000. Land values in the immediate area began to rise as the new market was being constructed.

Serving the community solidly from the time of its opening, it gradually fell into disrepair. Seemingly without major structural problems, the building was emptied of tenants several months prior to construction in anticipation of its transformation into an upscale shopping center when the unthinkable happened.

Following a weekend blizzard, the roof gave way under the weight of snow on February 18, 2003. On the brink of a major renovation, the company leading that renovation was confident that work on the building would continue. Despite this, the hollow shell of the market still sits in limbo, with development hinging on financing. Facing yet another hurdle, last week the O Street Market was among listed projects with approved funding that may have funds diverted to finance the new Convention Hotel planned for the city.

Industrial Bank: Interior ca. 1934

Posted in Banks, Shaw with tags , , on June 1, 2009 by Kent

Here’s a nice shot from the Smithsonian Institution. It shows the interior of the Industiral Bank at 11th and U Streets ca. 1934. I’ve never been in the bank, but I really love their sign out front with the clock at the bottom. Now, if only they would turn the neon on for me.Industrial Bank 1934

Howard Theatre: A History

Posted in Culture and History, Development, Entertainment, Renovation and Restoration, Shaw, Theaters, Then and Now with tags , , on May 20, 2009 by Kent

Howard Theatre ca. 1910According to the Cinema Treasures site, the Howard Theater opened on August 22, 1910, in a primarily African-American area of Washington, near Howard University which lead to the theater’s name. It sat around 1,200 and was designed by architect J. Edward Storck and built for the National Amusement Company. During the mid-1920’s, it was sold to Abe Lichtman, a white theater owner of theaters that catered to African-Americans. As you can see from the vintage photograph above, it was billed as the “largest colored theater in the World.”

Its facade was a blend of several theater styles popular in the era, including Beaux-Arts, Neo Classical, and Italian Renaissance. At the top of the facade, overlooking T Street, was an over life-size statue of Apollo playing his lyre. The interior was even more extravagant, with a large balcony, eight boxes, a number of dressing rooms, and three entrances. Continue reading

Lost Washington: the Republic Theatre

Posted in Lost Washington, Shaw, Theaters with tags , , , on May 14, 2009 by Kent

Republic TheatreAccording to the Cinema Treasures site, the Republic Theatre opened on 30th May 1921. It was located a block west of the Lincoln Theatre, between 13th and 14th Streets, NW. It was located in the heart of the U Street African-American shopping district and was listed in the Film Daily Yearbooks as a “Negro” theatre.

Republic Theatre Robin Hood ca. 1948The theatre was designed by architect Phillip M. Julien and was a single screen venue. The exterior was given a slightly Spanish look with a Spanish tile roof topping the facade. Inside the auditorium, which originally seated 1,304, the seating was arranged in a stadium plan with no overhanging balcony, but there was a loge level half-way back. A Moller two Manual organ was installed in 1924.

The Republic was closed in 1976 and was later demolished to make way for the new Metro system.

Remains of the RepublicIf you walk by the site there is still a trace of the original building for the keen observer. An alley now cuts through the western most portion of the site, and the left wall of the alley is part of the former structure. You can still see a sliver of the building along the sidewalk.

(Historic images courtesy Smithsonian Institution)