Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Mary & Johnnie Walker- 1600 4th St NW

400 blk of Q St NW btwn NJ and 4th St NW.

I tried finding a good photo of the parking lot where 1600 4th St NW used to be, but came up empty. Instead, enjoy the map above.

Let’s discover what the land records tell us. In 1944 Johnnie and Mary Walker purchased their home 1600 4th St NW from, sigh, Helen and Nick Basiliko. The Basilikos were all over Truxton Circle in the mid-20th Century and brother George Basiliko was declared by the Washington Post to be a slumlord. The Basilikos are another story for another day. As part of the purchase they borrowed $2,961.48 at 6% interest from trustees John Swaggart and Herman Miller. The 1944 loan was cleared/paid off in 1948. In 1956, it appears they took out a new loan with the American Security and Trust Company for $5,250 at 5% interest.

Then something happens.

In 1971 Johnnie Walker signed over full ownership to Mary. There are so many John Walkers married to women named Mary that I have no idea what happened. Did they divorce? Was he unwell? I don’t know. What I do know is that his signature was on the deed.

Then in the eighties the story comes to an end. In 1985 there is a document (#8500028432) to cancel the condemnation of the building at 1600 4th St NW. And according to the document, it was mailed to 1903 D St NE. I am left to assume that the home was either vacant or severely run down. For whatever reason, the condemnation was cancelled, but we know from the vacant lot that is there, it was eventually torn down.

The next year, Mary Walker sold/transferred the property to James Floyd Young Jr. I wonder if it was a sale because I could not find a loan associated with the sale/transfer. Also when I was trying to find information about the Walkers, there was a woman Mary Young who married a John Walker. There was a James Floyd Young (Sr) who had a sister named Mary. So IF James was her nephew, and I am not sure there is a connection, this may have not been a regular sale.

A decade later, in 1999, Mr. Young sold the property to the current owners, the church.