"The Mt Pleasant Heritage Trail" Washington D.C. Travelogue by Tom_Fields

Washington D.C. Travel Guide: 5,669 reviews and 15,144 photos

16th St

The Mt Pleasant Heritage Trail is marked by 17 placards, which detail the history and culture of this historic neighborhood. A free companion guide can be obtained at a number of local businesses. To hike the entire walk takes about an hour and a half. Of course, I stopped a few times along the way for coffee.

Asbury Park, shown in this photo, has a statue of Francis Asbury, an early Methodist missionary. In the background are the Kenesaw Apartments, dating from 1906. This was the first of many fancy apartment buildings on 16th St.

The Mt Pleasant Public Library

Completed in 1925, this library is still in service. Finance by the Carnegie Foundation and designed by Edward Tilton (who designed other Carnegie libraries), this is an overlooked gem.

During the Great Depression, Aurelius Battaglia created some lovely murals inside this building. Funded by President Roosevelt's Public Works of Art program (part of his New Deal), they continue to adorn the children's library upstairs. Battaglia later worked on Walt Disney's Dumbo and Pinnochio. They bring out the child in all of us. Be sure to examine the tiles around the old fireplace, too.

Marconi Monument

In front of the public library, on the corner of 16th and Park Road, stands a monument to Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, who helped invent radio.

Ingleside: Mt Pleasant's Oldest Home

Built in the early 1850's, this home was part of a 139-acre estate. Designed by Thomas Ustick Walter, who designed parts of the US Capitol, it is now the oldest structure in Mt Pleasant. Today, it's a nursing home. Located on Newton St, just a few blocks off 16th St.

Bo Diddley's Home

The legendary blues/rocker Bo Diddley, one of the founders of rock'n roll music, lived here at 1724 Newton St, back in the early 1960s.

Rosemount Center

Originally named the House of Mercy, this was a home for "fallen women". Today, it serves children by providing education and family support. At Rosemount Avenue and Klingle Road.

The Deane Home

Robert Deane, a local doctor, bought this home in 1950 from Lillian Curry. The trouble was that mortgages in Mt Pleasant had a "covenant" that specified that no home could be sold to a black family, such as Dr Deane's. When the neighbors sued to stop the sale, they lost (the Supreme Court had already ruled that these covenants were illegal).

Dr Deane remained here until his death in 2001. It's at 1841 Park Road.

Triangle Park

During the Civil War, Samuel Brown bought 73 acres here from William Selden, a former US Treasurer. As the war raged on, Union army camps and hospitals occupied this ground. Brown built a mansion here.

Later, he turned his holdings over to developers. So began Mt Pleasant. In 1906, a group of local residents bought this land, then sold it to the city for use as a park. Ever since, Triangle Park, where Brown's mansion once stood, has been a popular hangout and meeting place.

  • Page Written Jul 10, 2007
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