A Streetcar Named Brightwood

A Streetcar Named Brightwood (HM1DS6)

Location: Washington, DC 20011
Country: United States of America

N 38° 57.755', W 77° 1.684'

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Battleground to Community

— Brightwood Heritage Trail —

The Large Structure across Georgia Avenue opened in 1909 as a "car barn" for the Brightwood Railway. The facility could service more than 40 streetcars at once, and often did so late at night. As a young boy in the 1950s, Thomas Reardon remembered the busy barn as "a scary place" where streetcars' lights gleamed in the darkness "like the eyes of monsters." Powered at first by horses, the streetcars by 1893 ran on electricity provided by overhead lines. Congress prohibited overhead lines south of Florida Avenue, so southbound streetcars stopped there to switch to an underground conduit.

With two quick rings on the bell, the conductor alerted passengers that he was about to move. At night, residents recalled, the hum of the streetcar could be heard for blocks. Buses replaced streetcars here in 1960 (citywide in 1962). Subsequently the car barn housed a series of auto dealerships.

Next to the old car barn at 5921 Georgia Avenue, Sidney Hechinger opened his third building-supply store in 1927. Three years he built a substantial Art Deco Style store on the site. The longstanding and prosperous Hechinger family business had begun in 1911 with a wrecking and salvage company located at 6th and C streets, Southwest. Three generations of Hechingers directed the company with a strong sense of civic responsibility. John Hechinger, Sr., served as chairman of the first city council of the 20th century. The family sold the business in 1997, and the buyers closed its doors forever two years later.
HM NumberHM1DS6
Marker Number18
Year Placed2008
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 11:48pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324285 N 4314580
Decimal Degrees38.96258333, -77.02806667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 57.755', W 77° 1.684'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 57' 45.30" N, 77° 1' 41.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1100-1224 Peabody St NW, Washington DC 20011, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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