An East-of-the-River View
—Anacostia Heritage Trail —
Across the street is the former
11th Precinct Police Station. In 1993 it became the Max Robinson Center for Health and Living, providing services for people with HIV/AIDS.
Whether by design or by accident, in 1910 the city built Anacostia's police station on the unofficial dividing line between the black and white residential sections. Until the 1960s residents rarely crossed the line, and children learned to stay where they belonged. "We [African Americans] had our world; we never really went outside it;' remembered neighborhood activist Rev. Oliver Johnson, so he "never felt discrimination" as a child.
Others saw it differently. Speaking of his youth in the 1940s, former Council member Stanley Anderson recalled in an interview with historian Dianne Dale that, "when you went below [the precinct house], white folks lived in there. And once you got down to Good Hope Road, you were in serious trouble .... You were constricted, so to speak, in those days." Even Anacostia Park was divided. African Americans stayed south of Good Hope Road, and whites used the north side, where the swimming pool and tennis courts were located.
Until 1909 when the 11th Precinct was established, Anacostia, Hillsdale, and other neighborhoods here were part of the 5th Precinct, headquartered across the river. The new precinct's
Spanish style building replaced a substation closer to Good Hope Road.
The Salvation Army's Solomon G. Brown Corps Community Center honors Hillsdale's Renaissance man. Although unschooled, Brown (ca. 1829-1906) became an expert on natural history during his 54 years at the Smithsonian and lectured frequently before scientific societies. Brown also founded several civic organizations and. in 1871 was elected to represent Anacostia and Hillsdale. in DC's short-lived territorial government.