The Law House In Peace and War

The Law House In Peace and War (HMDGF)

Location: Washington, DC 20024
Country: United States of America

N 38° 52.483', W 77° 1.252'

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River Farms to Urban Towers

— Southwest Heritage Trail —

To your left across Water Street is the Thomas Law House, now a community center for the Tiber Island cooperative. The Federal style house was designed by William Lovering in 1794 for businessman Thomas Law and his bride Eliza Parke Custis, granddaughter of Martha Washington. At first the house stood at the foot of Sixth Street overlooking the Potomac. Since then, time and engineers have changed the shoreline, so the house is now farther from the water. It is one of very few to survive the 1950s urban renewal.

After the Law's time, the area grew commercial. During the Civil War the house became the Mt. Vernon Hotel. Guests witnessed Union troops embarking for the South from the busy Sixth Street wharf and the return of stunning numbers of wounded. "Quite often," recorded poet Walt Whitman, "they arrive[d] at the rate of 1,000 a day." Here President Lincoln greeted Union reinforcements arriving to defend Washington from attack by Confederate General Jubal Early in 1864. At the war's end, Washington's regiment of the U.S. Colored Infantry marched triumphantly from here up Seventh Street to cheering throngs.

Around 1913 the Law House became the Washington Sanitarium's Mission Hospital, ministering to the area's working class and poor, black and white. In 1923 Dr. Henry G. Hadley purchased the house to operate as a clinic. According to Southwester Phyllis Martin, he "was a family doctor to the people of Southwest." In 1952 Hadley built Hadley Memorial Hospital in far Southwest. The clinic here closed in 1961.
Marker Number12 of 17
Placed ByCultural Tourism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 1:57pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324693 N 4304814
Decimal Degrees38.87471667, -77.02086667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 52.483', W 77° 1.252'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 52' 28.98" N, 77° 1' 15.12" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202, 301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 600 Water St SW, Washington DC 20024, US
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