Among the Library of Congress photographs were photographs of the John Mercer Langston School, which sits on the unit block of P St NW in Truxton Circle. I discovered photographs of the Langston School among the several photographs that photojournalist Marjory Collins took in March 1942. However, like the Slater School, it was not labeled. Thank goodness these schools are located so close to each other that this slice of Truxton Circle history has been captured.
Collins, it seems was aiming to focus on the woman in the hat, not so much the school building.
It was part of a series of photos of a school teacher. As the teacher seemed to live in a whole other part of town a goes unnamed, just like the school, I’m not particularly interested in following her story.
Langston Elementary was a functional school. It had students and teachers and staff. But now it is just an empty historic building:
The images below are from 2007. The building has been better secured in the past 16 years.
I happened to have found this photograph in the Library of Congress’ collection. It was listed as a Negro elementary school. When I took a closer look I saw the name of the school on the building.
I am amazed seeing children playing on P Street as if it was an extension of the playground. P Street actually doesn’t look that wide in this photo. Things were different in 1942, when this was taken by Marjory Collins the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information photographer who took the photograph.
Behind them appears to be the National Homeopathic Hospital. Below is a photo of the hospital from 1910.
You can see the front of the hospital in the top photograph. In the second photo you can see part of the old Dunbar High School building. Despite it being an event for Armstrong High School boys, it appears they are on Dunbar’s campus.
Below is an aerial photo from 1951 or 1952 taken by the US Geological Survey. Keeping in mind where the two tallish buildings of the hospital sat, and the corner of old Dunbar, you can see where the boys were parading.
Everybody in the car, So come on let’s ride To the liquor store around the corner The boys say they want some Gin & Juice But I really don’t wanna -Lou Bega ‘Mambo No. 5’
If you can’t see the details of the map above go to this link, and click on it to see the details. It shows where the liquor stores, grocery stores, drug stores, barber and beauty shops and other stores in the Shaw neighborhood.
Before Common there was a long battle between the residents of Richardson Place and a developer named Mondie. And before Mondie, there was a garden where part of the current shared apartments sit.
The garden belonged to Jim Norris who owned the house next to it. It was a cute and sweet little garden perfect for a bachelor. The houses on Richardson back then were on the very small side. I remember one Christmas, Jim had his whole living room packed with many creches/nativity scenes. He managed to make the best of the small space. Jim owned it from 2001-2018.