—Columbia Heights Heritage Trail —
Front of marker:
Washington's prolific developer, built nearly all of the 300 houses to your right between Monroe Street and Spring Road. Wardman, an English immigrant and self-made millionaire, became known for his rowhouses, whose front porches allowed neighbors to visit easily. These date from 1907 to 1911.
Two adjoining Wardman buildings at 3501-3503 14th Street once housed Danzansky Funeral Home, originally opened in 1921 by Bernard Danzansky on Ninth Street, NW, as DC's first Jewish funeral home. Soon after, he moved his residence and business here, as affluent Jews migrated from the old city to newer "suburbs" such as Columbia Heights. Nearby the Jewish Social Service Agency as well as a mikvah—a ritual purification bath—also served the community.
Dazansky later helped found the Hebrew House for the Aged and the Hebrew Academy of Washington. His wife Nettie was a leader in charitable work, and his son Joseph was president of Giant Food and twice headed the city's Board of Trade.
When the funeral home relocated to Rockville, Maryland, the offices of the Washington Urban League moved in, remaining for 30 years before moving to 14th and Harvard Streets.
Across 14th Street is Hubbard Place apartments. Long known as the Cavalier, the originally
ritzy building was constructed by Morris Cafritz, a top DC developer. It was later converted to low-income housing, and in 2009 was renamed to honor the late community activist Leroy Hubbard.
In the 1980s growing crime led to the formation of the "red-hat" Citizen Organized Patrol Effort (COPE) to walk the neighborhood and alert police to loitering, vacant properties, burn-out street lights, and other conditions that contributed to crime.
To reach Sign 6, please proceed on Otis Place, then turn right on 13th to the intersection with Monroe Street.
Back of Marker:
More than 200 years ago, city planner Pierre Charles L'Enfant designed a new capital city on the low coastal plain at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, bordered on the north by a steep hill. Today the hill defines Columbia Heights.
Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Heritage Trail
takes you on a tour of the lively neighborhood that began as a remote suburb of Washington City. Over time, transportation innovations, starting with streetcars, made Columbia Heights accessible and desirable. Soon, men and women of every background populated the neighborhood, people who changed the world with new technology, revolutionary ideas, literature, laws, and leadership. From the low point of the civil disturbances of 1968, Columbia Heights turned
to resident leaders and rose again. Metrorail's arrival in 1999 provided a boost, reviving the historically important 14th Street commercial corridor. Experience both the new and old Columbia Heights, with all its cultural and economic diversity, as you talk this walk.
[A Description of the Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Heritage Trail tour and acknowledgment of its creators follows.]