Archive for October, 2014

In Anacostia “improvements are rarely made” [National Leader, 30 March, 1889, p. 4]

DC Public Library, Special Collections

DC Public Library, Special Collections

The National Leader was a weekly publication. Frederick Douglass, Jr. of Nichols Avenue was Associate Editor of the paper.

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“Community Garden in Anacostia Proves Popular” [Evening Star, 24 October 1914]

Courtesy DC Public Library, Special Collections.

Courtesy DC Public Library, Special Collections.

Anyone know where this streetscape is? Any neighborhood historians out there? Historic Anacostia Block Association? Anacostia Historical Society?

Answer will be revealed in forthcoming post.


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Washington Post: Louise Daniel Hutchinson, scholar of black history, dies at 86


By: Emily Langer

Washington Post

October 25 at 4:25 PM

Louise Daniel Hutchinson, who gathered, documented and preserved African American history during 13 years as director of research at the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum in Southeast Washington, died Oct. 12 at her home in the District. She was 86.

The cause was vascular dementia, said a daughter, Donna Marshall.

Mrs. Hutchinson spent much of her adult life working to collect and share with others the richness of African American history in Washington and beyond. After years of community activism, she joined the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (as it was then known) in 1974 and retired in 1987.

Under the leadership of founding director John R. Kinard, she oversaw exhibits covering years of history in the Anacostia community, the movement of blacks from Africa to overseas colonies and the life and accomplishments of Frederick Douglass, the former slave, abolitionist and distinguished writer.

She took particular interest in documenting the lives of African American women such as Anna J. Cooper, who was born into slavery and became a noted educator and equal rights advocate. “Even black history hasn’t given black women their proper place,” Mrs. Hutchinson once told the New York Times.

Gail Lowe, the Anacostia Community Museum’s senior historian, credited Mrs. Hutchinson with elevating the work of the research department and using individual life stories to illuminate broader history. “In telling the local stories,” Lowe said in an interview, “she validated community experiences.”
Mrs. Hutchinson was “a stickler for accuracy and authenticity,” Lowe said, and insisted that researchers keep magnifying glasses on hand for the close inspection of old photographs. Mrs. Hutchinson, Lowe recalled, spotted Harriet Tubman and W.E.B. DuBois in previously unidentified images.

“Because of the level and depth of her work,” Lowe said, “she was able to . . . provide accurate, documented information that other researchers and scholars relied on.”

Louise Hazel Daniel, one of nine children, was born June 3, 1928, in Ridge, Md., and grew up in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington. Her parents, Victor Hugo Daniel and Constance E.H. Daniel, were teachers and friends of the African American intellectuals and educators George Washington Carver and Mary McLeod Bethune.

After graduating in 1946 from the old Armstrong Technical High School in the District, Mrs. Hutchinson attended colleges including Howard University and did secretarial work before beginning her career in historical preservation. In the 1970s, she assisted curators at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery with the selection of paintings featuring prominent African Americans, her daughter said.

Mrs. Hutchinson’s writings included the books “The Anacostia Story, 1608-1930” (1977), “Out of Africa: From West African Kingdoms to Colonization” (1979) and “Anna J. Cooper: A Voice from the South” (1981).

Mrs. Hutchinson’s daughter Laura Hutchinson died in infancy, and her son Mark Hutchinson died in 1974, at age 8, of a brain tumor.

Survivors include her husband of 64 years, Ellsworth W. Hutchinson Jr. of the District; five children, Ronald Hutchinson of Fort Washington, Md., David Hutchinson of Clifton Park, N.Y., Donna Marshall of Laurel, Md., Dana McCoy of the District and Victoria L. Boston of Clinton, Md.; two brothers, John Daniel of the District and Robert Daniel of Atlanta; a sister, C. Dorothea Lawson of Bay City, Tex.; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

In addition to her museum work, Mrs. Hutchinson participated in initiatives such as the development of D.C. Public Schools curriculum in the 1980s that incorporated the roles of black leaders in local events.

“I have real concerns about accuracy of history,” she told The Washington Post. “I believe it must reflect [the] participation of all.”


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The L’Enfant Trust holds Open House at 1347 Maple View Place SE, Mon., October 13; 11:00 AM

All are welcome, bring your kids!

1347 Maple View

1347 Maple View Place is a long vacant, two-story,  Queen-Anne style house in the Anacostia Historic District on the verge of collapse.  According to the land records, including historic maps, 1347 Maple View Place was built between 1887 and 1894 by Henry A. Griswold who was President of the Anacostia & Potomac River Railway Company, which he chartered in 1872. Griswold was a resident and landowner in Anacostia and in 1879 he subdivided some of the property for residential development. This tract was referred to as “Griswold’s Addition.

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ANACOSTIA ALERT: Mayor Gray to Provide Update on Affordable Housing Progress [October 8, 2014 – 10:30am – 11:30am]

2200 block of MLK - parking lotWHAT/WHO:   Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Director Michael P. Kelly will provide an update on the administration’s efforts to produce and preserve affordable housing for District residents. Director Kelly will also announce the 2014 Notice of Funding Availability awardees.

The announcement is part of Mayor Gray’s regular Biweekly Press Briefing. 

WHEN:                        Wednesday, October 8, 2014


WHERE:                       Future site of the Four Points Development Project; 2255 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE 

BACKGROUND:           With the District’s population continuing to grow at a rate of more than 1,000 net new residents per month, Mayor Gray’s administration has sought innovative approaches to generating quality affordable housing and has leveraged as many resources as possible to boost the District’s supply of affordable housing. Mayor Gray revived the Housing Production Trust Fund Advisory Board, created the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force and announced an ambitious and unprecedented goal to produce or preserve 10,000 affordable units by the year 2020.

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