Roads to Diversity
— Adams-Morgan Heritage Trail —This hill, with its sweeping views of Washington and the Potomac, has tantalized visionaries since the 1800s. But few of their plans have been built.In 1873 businessman and city commissioner Thomas P. Morgan (whose name survives as part of Adams-Morgan) created Oak Lawn, a four-story, Second Empire mansion, where the upper edge of the Washington Hilton sits today. Oak Lawn honored the property's 400-year-old "Treaty Oak," said to be the site of treaty negotiations between English settlers and Native Americans. Over time the property appealed to George Washington University, the Grand Lodge of Masons, and even controversial modern architect Frank Lloyd Wright. But the university and the Masons couldn't raise needed funds, and Wright's elaborate scheme for "Crystal Heights" - 21 glass towers with apartments, hotel rooms, theater, restaurants, stores, 1,500 parking spaces, and roof-top gardens cascading down the hill - was rejected by city officials.Morgan's house remained until 1952, when it was razed. The Treaty Oak was thoughtlessly cut down a year later. Finally, in 1965 the Washington Hilton opened here. It became a noted Washington venue for conventions, inaugural balls, and political speeches. On March 30, 1981, the entrance behind you was the location of John Hinckley, Jr.'s attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan.To your right is the former site of Gunston Hall School, which educated young women here from 1906 until 1942. Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry S. Truman, was a graduate.Captions:Oak Lawn mansion, built by Thomas Morgan, with the Treaty Oak at left.The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.Frank Lloyd Wright presents plans for Crystal Heights.One of Gunston Hall School's four buildings.Members of the Gunston Hall School Camera Club.Reverse:Caption:Oak Lawn estate, cleared for development.1955. Washington Division, D.C. Public Library.The Adams Morgan story begins with its breezy hilltop location, prized by Native Americans, colonial settlers, freedom seekers, powerful Washingtonians, working people, and immigrants alike. Unlike most close-in neighborhoods, Adams Morgan has never been dominated by any of these groups. Today's rich diversity is the legacy of each group that has passed through.
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|Placed By||Cultural Tourism DC|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18S E 323271 N 4309208|
|Decimal Degrees||38.91400000, -77.03838333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 38° 54.84', W 77° 2.303'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||38° 54' 50.4" N, 77° 2' 18.18" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling West|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 1739-1799 17th St NW, Washington DC 20009, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|