BAA meeting

| Blagden Alley Association |
| Monthly Meeting |
| |
| THURSDAY, April 26, 2007 |
| 7:30-9:00 pm |
| Merle and Greg’s |
| 1327 Tenth Street, NW |

The newsletter is at

1. Discussion of the new initiatives the WCC
is taking. Many oriented to local businesses.
2. Walnut Street development at 917 M Street.
3. Police.
4. More.

Fun with ProQuest: Bates Street gets shafted

I started a new search “Bates Street” between 1950 to 1990. I decided to focus on Bates because of some of the rehab projects that were to take place in the first Marion Barry admin on the street.
One 1969 article got my attention and I’m just going to quote it:

…said its first ghetto aid effort was expected to be in the Bates Street Project — part of the Shaw redevelopment plan.
Later a spokesman…. said in Washington that the initial phase of the PIC plan will probably be shifted from Bates Street to a block of 8th and 9th Streets nw., bounded by S and T.
Russo said the RLA now feels it would be better to start in that block, with 25 houses on 8th Street and 20 on 9th Street.

Ronald Russo was the spokesman for the RLA. The RLA was the Redevelopment Land Agency. PIC was the People’s Involvement Corp, a federally funded group. Ghetto and slum are words the Washington Post used [past tense] to describe our neighborhood. They just use ghetto now and then these days.
I’ve waded through several “Crime and Justice” articles to get to the next quote and let’s say, I’m depressed.
Anywho, in a Jun 1971 article:

Two years ago, at a convention in Atlantic City, the league pledged $7 million toward the Bates Street project. “This soon became hopelessly involved in government red tape and citizens’ indecision,” league president Thornton W. Owen said recently, “so that any tangible activities in this area in the near future seems highly improbable.”

All articles from the Washington Post
“S&Ls Pledge $7 Million For Homes; Rehabilitation” by S. Oliver Goodman. June 1, 1969. p. 125
“Firms To Fund Housing; S&Ls to Build Huge Project For City Poor” by William H. Jones June 10, 1971. p. B1

Shaw History

For the rest of the week, maybe the rest of the month, I haven’t decided, I will refer to Shaw by one of its original names, the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area. Okay, that’s too many words, for the rest of this post SSURA.
Anywho, while going through some papers, I came across something mentioning the Shaw PAC. In 1984 the PAC appears to recognize the borders of Shaw as the city did when it was starting to renew the Shaw School U.R.A., being 15th to N. Cap, Florida to N, M, & NY Ave.
Yet the reason I write, I decided to look up info on the Shaw PAC on the web and found a resource that has some decent DC history, the George Washington University Library. Within their archive are the papers of David A. Clarke, and they have a folder list which lists the Shaw PAC, as well as some other things of interest. I am curious as to what they have on BACA and the Bates Street block club and other community groups. So besides the Washingtonia room at the MLK and the Washington Historical Society’s archive, you can find materials about DC neighborhood history at the various universities (Catholic, Georgetown, & George Washington) and federal institutions like the National Archives and the Library of Congress.

Fun with ProQuest: Truxton Circle pt 2

Find part 1 here
The name Truxton Circle is somewhat controversial. There are residents of the TC who loathe the name and will on occasion mention how offensive the name is. Personally, I have no problem with the name, and it was the name on the map at the Washingtonia room at the MLK Library. It is a decent description of this eastern side of Shaw
The circle that Truxton Circle is named after is long gone. The man the former circle was named after, Revolutionary war vet Thomas Truxtun, is long dead, and we couldn’t bother spelling his name right and nobody ’round here really cares who was anyway. Regardless of all that, the name has stuck. Fun with ProQuest is simply tracking the name and its use in the Washington Post.
So up until the 1940s Truxton Circle was a traffic circle. Then circle go bye-bye. The next time Truxton Circle appears in the paper is in the 60s when it is a Post Office area. In 1964 the Truxton Circle postal annex at 17 Florida Avenue NE was robbed at gunpoint. Most of what I found in the 60s was in relation to the post office. The closest in this period of it being a neighborhood name or an area name is a classified ad in 1963 listing an address as “Box 26001, Truxton Circle, Wash, D.C.”
Nothing in the 70s. Nada.
Then in 1984, the city somehow christened the area as Truxton Circle when it was launching a subsidy program to encourage home buying in the District. Truxton Circle was one of the target areas, which also included “Columbia Heights; Shaw-Westminister, Carollsburg, Capitol Hill South….” Yeah, now I’m wondering what was so wrong about the area that it had to be a target area. The other funny thing about the 1984 article was the description of the program:

What the loan terms are: Fixed interest rate of 11.39 percent for 30 years. Buyer pays 1 point and seller pays 2 points.

Eligible candidates were to be first time District home buyers making less than $42,960. I was making less than that in 2000. Anyway, from 1984 on Truxton Circle was a neighborhood as far as the city was concerned.
I’m open to researching (light researching) the other possible alternate names the area may have held.

All Articles from the Washington Post
“Classified Ad 343” Sept 22, 1963 p. G6
“2 Gunmen Rob DC Postal Annex of $2000, Shut 8 in Rest Room” by Alfred E. Lewis. Sept 3, 1964 p. A1
“Postal Machines, Men Move Mountain of Christmas Mail” by William Clairborne. Dec 7, 1972. p.A36
“Subsidy Program’s Nuts and Bolts” August 2, 1984. p. A15.