Posts Tagged ‘Columbia Heights’

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Zombie Donuts

For a while when I initially started this blog, I would visit a restaurant on my last ride of each month and write a post about it.  I haven’t done that as frequently during the past year.  But I didn’t want 2016 to end without at least one more ride during which I treat myself to something better than the cafeteria fare I often eat at my desk after I get back from a bike ride.  So on this bike ride I sought out Zombie Coffee and Donuts, one of the few local doughnut shops that I hadn’t been to previously.   Zombie has two locations, and I chose the one located at 3100 14th Street (MAP) in northwest D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood.  I chose this location because the other is a little too far away for me to ride to on my break from work.  Their only other location is in Athens, Georgia.

Now, I’m not much of a coffee drinker.  I never have been.  I remember first trying it as a child and not liking it.  My parents said I would learn to like it, but I decided it wasn’t worth learning to like.  So on this bike ride I sought out Zombie not for the coffee but for their doughnuts.  And you might be able to tell from some of my previous blog posts, I like a good doughnut.

Zombie serves only fresh made-to-order cake doughnuts which can be topped with your of choice glazes and toppings.  The way that it normally works is that after entering the shop you’re handed an order form that asks you to specify which kind of glaze you’d like with which topping.   Some of their most popular combinations are listed at the top of the order form, and include Chocolate Icing and M&Ms, Vanilla Icing and crushed Oreos, Maple Icing and Bacon or Pecans, either Chocolate or Vanilla Icing and Caramel Drizzle, Lemon Glaze and Coconut, or Half Chocolate Icing and Half Vanilla Icing. Or you can check off your own individual choices such strawberry glaze with rainbow sprinkles, as I’m sure Homer Simpson would order if he were at Zombie.  Altogether there are 84 possible combinations of glazes and toppings.

I happened to walk in at one of the infrequent times when there was not a line, so I was able to just tell them what kind of doughnuts I wanted, and they made them as I stood there.  I chose one with just plain strawberry icing, and a chocolate iced doughnut with shredded coconut.  Now I’m not going to “sugarcoat” things here.  They were not the best doughnuts I’ve ever had.  But they were so fresh they were still warm, and they were darned good.  They’re so good, in fact, I can forgive them for spelling the word doughnut incorrectly.

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[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]
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The 10th Precinct Station House and Harry Houdini

From the outside, the 19th-century sandstone building at 750 Park Road (MAP), just off Georgia Avenue in northwest D.C.’s Park View neighborhood, appears to stand out for its architectural excellence and aesthetic beauty. Designed by the architectural firm of A.B. Mullett & Company and completed in 1905, there don’t appear to be any other buildings of similar style and quality in that area of the city.  But as interesting as I found the appearance of the building to be when I happened upon it on this lunchtime bike ride, it’s what happened in the building that gives it even more character.

The building was originally built as the 10th Precinct Station House for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).  And at the time touted by Police Chief Major Richard H. Sylvester as having some of the most modern and secure jail cells in the city.  In fact, Chief Sylvester had so much confidence in his newest jail cells that he invited escape artist Harry Houdini, who happened to be in town performing at Chase’s “Polite Vaudeville” theater for his first ever show in the nation’s capitol, and had been bragging about his escape skills, to come visit the 10th Precinct Station House and try one out.

With a reputation to uphold and welcoming the publicity, Houdini readily accepted the challenge.  And on New Year’s Day of 1906, he turned himself in to be incarcerated, albeit for an indeterminate amount of time, at the 10th Precinct.  Despite attempts to stymie his escape by changing the locks after Houdini had already examined the cell, locking him behind five separate locks, stripping him of his clothing and locking them up in an adjacent cell, and handcuffing him with handcuffs from the Secret Service rather than police handcuffs, Houdini walked out a free man less than twenty minutes later, fully clothed and smirking.

Although Chief Sylvester was surprised and disappointed to see Houdini escape, he could take some consolation in the fact that it was the 62nd jail cell from which Houdini had escaped.  But Chief Sylvester would become more concerned when Houdini went on later that same week to escape from an even-more secure cell in the Fifth Precinct jailhouse, as well as “the Guiteau cell” on Murderers’ Row at the United States Jail, which had formerly housed Charles J. Guiteau, the man who assassinated President James Garfield.  However, Chief Sylvester would learn from Houdini’s escapes, and make his jail cells even more secure in the future.  Houdini was not invited back to test the improved cells though.

Still standing today, the 10th Precinct Station House is listed on the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.  However, after a number of redistrictings and reorganizations over the years, it is now home to the MPD’s Fourth District Substation, serving the city’s Park View, Petworth, Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights neighborhoods.

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[Click on the photos above to view the full size versions]

Note:  After the three successful jail breaks in D.C.’s jails in January of 1906 helped solidify his reputation as the “Handcuff King and Prison Breaker”, Houdini frequently scheduled shows in D.C. during his tours.  Over time, and as his fame increased, he drew larger and larger crowds when he performed here.  Ten years after his escape from the cell in the 10th Precinct Station House, he performed an escape while hanging upside down in a straitjacket outside B.F. Keith’s Theater, which attracted a crowd of over 15,000 spectators.  At that time, it was the largest crowd in the national capitol city’s history aside from a Presidential inauguration.  And another ten years after that, Houdini came back again to testify before Congress on the subject of spiritualism and D.C.’s fortune-telling laws.

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Pierce Mill

I had no particular destination in mind when I left on this lunchtime bike ride.  Initially, I just rode north.  Then as I was riding and would see a direction that didn’t look familiar, I would follow it.  As I made my way up through the DuPont Circle, Kalorama, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods, I just continued riding.  Eventually I found myself on a long downhill stretch of Park Road, and as I crossed over Beach Road I happened upon Peirce Mill.  Situated in Rock Creek Park, Peirce Mill is located at 2539 Tilden Street (MAP) in northwest D.C.

Peirce Mill was built on 1839 by a Quaker farmer from Pennsylvania named Issac Peirce.  Using the moving water or Rock Creek as a power source, the mill ground corn, wheat, and rye.  However, Peirce was not a miller and did not operate the mill himself.  Instead, he hired other millers to do so.  It remained in operation for more than six decades.  The last commercial load ground was in 1897, when the main shaft broke, while a millwright named Alcibiades P. White was grinding a load of rye.

The Federal government bought the mill as part of Rock Creek Park and it was restored as a Public Works Administration project, completed in March 1936, at a cost of $26,614.  Operation began again in October of 1936 under the supervision of miller Robert A. Little.  The mill was used from December 1, 1936 until 1958 to provide flour for government cafeterias.  Eventually, however, due to a lack of trained millwrights and lack of water in the millrace, it again discontinued operating as a mill, and was used from that time forward as an historical site.

There was a brief period, between 1993 and 1997, that the mill was closed once again.  A restoration effort was begun by the Friends of Peirce Mill, and the mill was restored with the support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The mill officially reopened in October of 2011.

Peirce Mill is currently open from April 1st through October 31st from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, Wednesday through Sunday.  During the month of November it is open on only Saturdays and Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  And from December through the end of March it is open from noon to 4:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. But the best time to plan a visit is on the 2nd or 4th Saturday of each month between April and October, when the National Park Service typically runs mill operation demonstrations.

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[Click on the thumbnails above to view the full size photos]

Note:  I recently ran across the following photo in the Library of Congress, taken sometime between the 1880s and 1910s.  It depicts men riding bikes near Peirce Mill, showing that people have been riding bikes to and near the mill for over a hundred years.

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"My Culture, Mi Gente"

“My Culture, Mi Gente”

While on this bike ride in northwest D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood, I discovered a mural entitled “My Culture, Mi Gente.”  But as I later discovered when I was trying to find out more about what I had seen, it is more than just a mural.  And the man who created it is more than just an artist.

“My Culture, Mi Gente” is located at 3064 15th Street (MAP), across the street from the Columbia Heights Metro Station, in northwest D.C.  Funded by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the colorful mural celebrates the neighborhood’s rich diversity and culture, and was created by artists from the Latin American Youth Center’s Art+Media House, including Jamilla Okubo, Daphne Zecena, Janie Velasquez, and Gean C. Martinez, along with lead artist Joel Bergner.

Also known as Joel Artista, Joel Bergner is a social action muralist and street artist, as well as a youth and community art organizer who through art projects seeks to educate others on issues of culture and social justice by creating works that relate stories of those who have been ignored or misunderstood by society.

In addition to “My Culture, Mi Gente,” Joel Berger has also created large public murals in many other U.S. cities, as well in Brazil, the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, Cuba, Kenya, Mozambique, Poland, Cape Verde in West Africa, El Salvador, and Peru. And much like his collaboration with the Latin American Youth Center here in D.C., his other works often feature collaborations with other youth-based organizations which represent incarcerated teenagers, Syrian refugees, youth from marginalized communities, the mentally and physically disabled, and street children in Rio de Janeiro. He has been commissioned by and worked with human rights groups as well, including the International Rescue Committee, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the Boys & Girls Club, UNICEF and Amnesty International.

I also found out that he has created other murals and other public art works here in D.C. So I hope to visit them on some of my future bike rides, and continue to learn more about the social awareness and action which they inspire.

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[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

Boundary Castle

Boundary Castle

While on a bike ride along 16th Street near Florida Avenue (MAP) in northwest D.C., I found an old, sturdy brownstone retaining wall and what appears to be an ornate entry gate leading to nowhere.   I later found out that they were once part of a property known as Boundary Castle. Also sometimes referred to as Henderson Castle or Prospect Castle, Boundary Castle was a mansion located on the border of D.C.’s Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights neighborhoods, and was the family home of John Brooks Henderson and Mary Foote Henderson.

John was a former U.S. Senator from Missouri. He was initially appointed to the Senate in 1862 to replace Trusten Polk, who had been expelled from Senate for his support of the South in the Civil War. He was later elected and served one full term. He was best known for authoring the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. He was also remembered for breaking party ranks, and along with six other Republican senators voting for acquittal in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson. After leaving the Senate, he and his wife Mary moved back to St. Louis.

While back in Missouri, Mary founded the St. Louis School of Design and authored “Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving” and “Diet for the Sick, A Treatise on the Values of Foods.” Meanwhile, John was busy buying up enormous quantities of supposedly worthless bonds that Missouri counties had issued after the Civil War. Purchased at ten cents on the dollar, the bonds became valuable when the courts ordered counties to pay their full face value. In 1889, after accumulating a massive fortune, the Hendersons moved back to D.C.

Upon arriving back in D.C., the Hendersons needed a fitting place to live, so they had a massive, Romanesque Revival-style mansion built. The house was designed by Massachusetts architect Eugene C. Gardner, and was supposedly modeled after a castle Mary had seen in Europe. The sprawling was made from Seneca sandstone, the same material used in the Smithsonian, and boasted 30 rooms. They named it Boundary Castle.

The Hendersons also bought up approximately 300 lots outside the northern boundary of the city in the area, then known as Meridian Hill, in the hope they could develop the area into the center of Washington society during the height of the Gilded Age. Their interest in the immediate neighborhood also coincided with the City Beautiful Movement of the early 20th century. This reform philosophy of North American architecture and urban planning flourished during the 1890s and 1900s with the intent of introducing beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. However, it promoted beauty not only for its own sake, but also to instill moral and civic virtue among urban populations.

With a genuine interest in civic improvement, Mary frequently lobbied Congress for various projects to improve and beautify the Meridian Hill area. In 1900, she supported a plan by architect Franklin W. Smith to construct a colossal presidential mansion on Meridian Hill to replace the White House. However, this plan never came to fruition. She was, however, successful in lobbying Congress to support the acquisition of the land and its eventual development as Meridian Hill Park. She also had lavish palaces and mansions built on the properties they owned to be rented or sold to government officials and diplomats.

Real estate development was not Mary’s only interest during this time, however. She also became an impassioned advocate for healthy living, and wrote another book entitled ” The Aristocracy of Health: A Study of Physical Culture, Our Favorite Poisons, and a National and International League for the Advancement of Physical Culture.” She was known to throw lavish dinner parties, which were always strictly vegetarian, and alcohol-free. It was also during this time that Mary famously decided to dispose of the plentiful and expensive wine collection John had accumulated over the years. She had her butler and others bring the wine bottles up from the castle’s cellars and smash them on a large rock in the front lawn. Newspaper accounts of the incident reported that there was so much wine that it ran down into the gutters of 16th Street.

John passed away in 1913 at the age of 86. Mary remained in Boundary Castle for the next 18 years, before passing away in 1931 at the age of 88. After her death, Bondary Castle was rented by a man named Bert L. Williams, who reopened it as the Castle H Tennis and Swimming Club. In what would have been abhorrent to Mary, he also turned the castle’s ballroom into a stand-up bar. As early as 1935, there had been talk of tearing down the old castle, but it hung on until January 1949, when it was finally razed. Wealthy neighbors Eugene and Agnes Meyer had purchased the mansion in order to get rid of the rowdy club. Today, the site is home to 216 townhouses known collectively as Beekman Place.

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The James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial

The James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial

The James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue is a public artwork, and is located in front of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic parish, in a median at the confluence of 16th Street, Park Road and Sacred Heart Way (MAP), in northwest D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood.

The statue depicts a bronze figure of James Gibbons seated, wearing cardinals robes, with his right hand in a raised position as if giving a blessing.  In his left hand he is holding a cross that hangs from his neck.  The base, which is made of granite, has a relief of a shield topped with an ecclesiastical hat. The shield has the coat of arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the Cardinal’s personal coat of arms.  Around the shield are rows of tassels that represent the ranks of clergy. The statue was authorized by Congress and President Calvin Coolidge on April 23, 1928, at no expense to the United States. The piece was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, and created by Italian sculptor Leo Lentelli.  It was unveiled in August of 1932, a date chosen to coincide with the Knights of Columbus’ 50th anniversary.  The statue was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Cardinal James Gibbons was born in 1834 in Baltimore, Maryland, to Irish immigrant parents.  After his father fell ill with tuberculosis, he moved the family back to Ireland, where he believed the air would benefit him.  After his father died in 1847, his mother moved 19-year old James and the rest of the family back to the United States in 1853, settling in New Orleans, Louisiana.

After deciding to pursue the priesthood, Gibbons entered St. Charles College in Ellicott City, Maryland.  After graduating from St. Charles, he entered St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.  On June 30, 1861, Gibbons was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Francis Kenrick of Baltimore, and served during the Civil War as a volunteer chaplain at Fort McHenry.  In 1868, at the age of 34, he became one of the youngest Catholic bishops in the world, and was known by the nickname “the boy bishop.”  From 1869 to 1870, Gibbons attended the First Vatican Council in Rome, and ultimately was the last of its participants to die.  In 1877, the Baltimore-born Gibbons became the head of the oldest archdiocese in the United States. Also in 1887, he helped found The Catholic University of America in D.C., and served as its first chancellor.  Nine years later, in 1886, Pope Leo XIII named him as the second-ever U.S. cardinal.

A man who was often viewed as the face of the Catholic Church in America, Gibbons was also an advocate of the labor movement of those days, and played a key role in obtaining permission from the Pope for Catholics to join labor unions.  And in his dealings with the Vatican, he and other “Americanizers” championed the separation of church and state.

An ardent proponent of American civic institutions, Gibbons called the U.S. Constitution the finest instrument of government ever created.   He was also a frequent visitor to the White House.  Gibbons knew every president from Andrew Johnson to Warren Harding, and served as an advisor to many of them.  President William Howard Taft honored him for his humanitarian work at the 1911 golden jubilee celebration of his ordination. And in 1917, President Theodore Roosevelt hailed him as “the most venerated, respected and useful citizen in America.”

Serenity

Serenity

On this bike ride I chose to go to see a sculpture entitled “Serenity,” which sits in Meridian Hill Park, located in northwest D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood on land bordered by 15th, 16th, W, and Euclid Streets (MAP).  The large outdoor statue depicts a seated woman with a flowing robe over her lap, and her left foot resting on what appears to be a broken sword.  Serenity was installed in the park’s northwest corner and dedicated on March 12, 1924.  It is the work of a Spanish Catalan sculptor named José Clara, and is identical to the sculpture, “Serenidad,” which is known by the same name, only in Spanish for some reason, despite the fact that it is in Luxembourg, Germany.

Serenity was originally owned by Charles Deering, an American businessman, art collector and philanthropist, whose family fortune was made through the agricultural equipment company that eventually became International Harvester.   He bought the statue in 1900 at the Paris Exposition.  As a tribute to the memory of a friend and classmate from the U.S. Naval Academy named William Henry Scheutze, Deering donated the statue to the National Park Service to be displayed publicly as a gift to the American people.

Deering’s friend, Lieutenant Commander William Henry Scheutze, was a career naval officer.  He graduated first in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy.  He was part of an expedition to retrieve the bodies of American explorers who died in the Arctic, and later served in Siberia as a navigator, and on the U.S.S. Iowa during the Spanish American War.  At the time of his sudden death, Scheutze had a desk job in D.C. as the superintendent of the compass division of the U.S. Navy.  Other than the fact that Deering already owned the piece, I have no idea what the sculpture of a serene woman has to do with a deceased naval officer.

Unfortunately, the sculpture is in a state of disrepair.  Her nose went missing in 1960, and by 2009 she was also missing her left hand and a big toe.  She has been vandalized over the years with paint as well, although that has been cleaned up.    But it is nonetheless a nice sculpture, and worth seeking out, especially if you’re already visiting Meridian Hill Park.

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Dante Alighieri Statue at Meridian Hill Park

Dante Alighieri is a public artwork by an Italian sculptor named Ettore Ximenes, and is a tribute to the major Italian poet of the Middle Ages of the same name, mononymously referred to as Dante.   It rests on a granite base, with the statue depicting a standing Dante wearing a robe and a laurel wreath on his head.  In his hands he is holding a copy of “The Divine Comedy,” his epic poetic trilogy depicting an imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife describes Dante’s journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio), and Paradise (Paradiso).  Originally called Commedia and later called Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio, who wrote a biography of Dante.  The Divine Comedy is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, as well as one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature.

Dante was a Medieval Italian poet, writer, political thinker and moral philosopher.  He known in In Italy as il Sommo Poeta, or “the Supreme Poet.”  He is also called the “Father of the Italian language.”  He was born in Florence in the year 1265.  Unfortunately, relatively little is known about his life.  Much of what is known of the writer comes from his essays and writings.  Dante did not write of his family or marriage, but it is known that he married Gemma di Manetto Donati, and they had several children, of whom two sons, Jacopo and Pietro, and a daughter, Antonia, are known.

Dante Alighieri is a casting of an identical statue located at Dante Park in New York City, and was donated to the city of D.C. as a “gift of the Italians of the United States” by Carlo Barsotti, the founder of Dante Park and editor of Il Progresso Italiano-Americano, an Italian-language daily newspaper published in the United States at that time.

On this bike ride, I rode to see the statue, which is located at the southeast corner of Meridian Hill Park, which is located in northwest D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood, on land bordered by 15th, 16th, W, and Euclid Streets (MAP).  It was dedicated at that location in December of 1921, in a ceremony attended by numerous dignitaries, including President Warren G. Harding and his wife, Florence, who may or may not have been named after the city where Dante was born.

The Joan of Arc Statue

The Joan of Arc Statue

On this day in 1431, Jehanne d’Arc, or Joan of Arc, was burned at the stake for insubordination and heterodoxy. After succumbing to the flames, the English raked back the coals to expose her charred body so that no one could claim she had escaped alive.  They then burned the body twice more to reduce it to ashes and prevent any collection of relics.  Afterwards, they cast her remains into the Seine River.

A peasant girl born in what is now eastern France, who claimed divine guidance, Joan of Arc led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years’ War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII.  She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon,” and burned at the stake as a heretic when she was only 19 years old.

Twenty-five years after the execution, an Inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial records.  The court’s verdict exonerated her, and she was declared her a martyr.  Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and was recognized as a Christian saint by the Roman Catholic Church in 1920.  Saint Joan of Arc is a national heroine of France.  Her feast day is also today, May 30.

To recognize the events of this day in history, I rode to historic Meridian Hill Park in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of northwest D.C. (MAP), to see the statue entitled “Joan of Arc” by Paul Dubois.  The bronze equestrian statue is located on the upper level of the park above the fountains, overlooking the city with a view all the way downtown to The Washington Monument.   The statue is the only equestrian statue of a woman in D.C., and depicts her riding with a sword in her right hand.  The sword she originally held was stolen in 1978, and not replaced until just recently.

The statue was a gift from Le Lyceum Société des Femmes de France (the “Ladies of France in Exile in New York”) to the women of the United States in 1922, two years after she was cannonized as a saint.   DuBois’ original work on which this statue is based is located in Reims, France, in front of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

As I was there in the park I couldn’t help but wonder what Joan of Arc would have thought of her status as a popular figure in cultural history, and the existence of this statue memorializing her located in a park in the capital of a country that wouldn’t be founded for more than three centuries after her death.

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Meridian Hill Park

Meridian Hill Park

On this bike ride I went to one of my favorite parks in D.C.  In a city replete with over a hundred large National Parks and smaller municipal parks from which to choose, Meridian Hill Park stands out.  I originally discovered it by happenstance when I was riding with no destination in mind.  It has since become a favorite destination.

Meridian Hill Park is located in northwest D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood, on land bordered by 15th, 16th, W, and Euclid Streets (MAP).  Prior to becoming a park, the land had a storied history.  It was used as a geographic marker by President Thomas Jefferson as part of establishing a longitudinal meridian for the city and the nation which was used at that time.  Later the land was part of the grounds of a mansion built by a naval hero of the War of 1812.  It was also used for a Union Army encampment during the Civil War.  It was even a proposed site at the beginning of the 20th century for the construction of a Presidential mansion to replace the White House.  When that did not get approved, a plan to have the site be used for the planned Lincoln Memorial was submitted.

Finally in 1910, the Federal government purchased the land and, by an Act of Congress, established Meridian Hill Park.  Construction began in 1912 based on a design modelled after the grand urban parks found in many major European cities at that time.  The formal, 12-acre landscaped grounds include unique artwork such as a marble sculpture entitled Serenity, a Presidential Memorial to James Buchanan, a memorial statue of Joan of Arc, a statue entitled Dante Alighieri, and an enormous cascading fountain.  The park is surrounded by concrete aggregate architecture which was based on an Italian aristocrat’s private residence.  In 1994 the park was designated a National Historic Landmark.  It is maintained by the National Park Service as part of Rock Creek Park, but is not contiguous with the main part of that park.

The central feature of the park is the thirteen basin cascading waterfall fountain in the lower-level formal garden.  The fountain includes an Italian Renaissance-style terraced fountain in the lower half, and gardens in a French Baroque style in the upper half.   It is designed with a recirculating water system which, through an elaborate series of pumps, supplies water to two large circular fountains on the upper level, and the cascade found on the lower.  It is the largest cascading fountain in North America.

After falling into disrepair and decay in the 1970’s, the park enjoyed a resurgence thanks to the a group of community organizations which formed the “Friends of Meridian Hill” partnership.  After extensive renovations and restoration, the park now hosts a variety of community arts and educational programs, twilight concerts, and on Sunday afternoons during warm weather, people gather in the upper park to dance and participate in a popular Drum Circle, which regularly attracts both enthusiastic dancers and professional drummers.

Whether or not you become a member of the formal partnership by the same name, one visit to this park and you’ll more than likely want to consider yourself a “friend” of Meridian Hill too.

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[Click on the thumbnails above to view the full size photos]