The Modern Shopper

The Modern Shopper (HM18JP)

Location: Washington, DC 20010
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 55.989', W 77° 1.438'

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— Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail —

Braving a blizzard in February 1936, eager customers lined up to experience a modern, self-service, cash-only supermarket. Nehemiah Cohen and Samuel Lehrman's Giant Food here on Georgia Avenue was the chain's first. Although the Memphis-born Piggly Wiggly chain pioneered the supermarket concept, it took Giant to capture DC consumers.

Giant moved into the former Park View Market, which had opened in 1923 with 180 tiled stalls. Before the supermarket, food shopping meant stopping at stand-alone bakeries, butcher shops, and other specialty stores, or at stalls inside a market shed. In all cases, shopkeepers filled the orders. Although mom-and-pop stores offered customers credit between paydays and delivered, Giant's efficiency and lower prices nearly made small specialty stores obsolete.

After the arrival of supermarkets, small corner groceries continued to serve neighborhoods. Many were owned by Jewish families who belonged to the city-wide buying cooperative District Grocery Stores (DGS for short). In the 1930s, three Jewish groceries operated on the 3300 block of Georgia, and at least 15 along the route of this trail.

The ornate police substation at 750 Park Road (to your left) opened in 1901 as the 10th Precinct headquarters, serving 15 square miles of "suburbs" stretching north from Florida Avenue to the District line, and between Benning Road and Rock Creek.

On your way to Sign 19, notice 3641 Georgia Avenue, formerly the York movie theater. The York was built by theater mogul Harry Crandall, who also built the Tivoli (14th Street and Park Road) and Lincoln (U Street) movie palaces.
Details
HM NumberHM18JP
Tags
Marker Number18
Placed ByCultural Tourism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 6th, 2014 at 9:17am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324568 N 4311305
Decimal Degrees38.93315000, -77.02396667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 55.989', W 77° 1.438'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 55' 59.34" N, 77° 1' 26.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3500 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC 20010, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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