Tenleytown / AU Park (June 21, 2019)
We headed up the hill, passing through Tenleytown, on our way to continue our exploration of AU Park.
On the southwest corner of Fort Reno Park, stands Chesapeake House. It has stood abandoned for as long as we can remember and we have long entertained the fantasy of turning it into a cool independent coffee shop with a community space upstairs. Currently, the National Park Service, which is responsible for the building, is discussing the possibilities for its future use with the local community. So if you have a vision for the building’s future, now is the time to step forward. We suggest getting in touch with the Park Service or Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E for details.
Above the Tenleytown metro station is the Cityline condo building. The bottom of the building was originally a Sears department store built in 1940. The Sears had a roof top parking lot and I have a distinct early childhood memory of standing in the parking lot and looking over at the shops on the other side of Wisconsin Avenue while snow was gently falling. That would have been in the mid 1960s. It’s funny how little, seemingly inconsequential, memories can stay with us over the years. The curved upper floors of the building were added in the early 2000s. My dear friend Carlos lived in one of the apartments, before passing earlier this year. Whenever I go by the building I am reminded of him and how much I miss his company.
Around the corner from Cityline on River Road is The City Church. This Spanish Colonial building, built in 1926, is the fourth Methodist church to be built on the site. The first was built in 1840. Tucked in behind the church is a small cemetery which contains the graves of many early Tenleytown residents.
Across Wisconsin Avenue from Cityline is the row of shops and restaurants that I once looked out on as a boy from the Sears parking lot. Among these is Tenleytown institution, Guapo’s, which is a longtime local favorite. It was our go-to place when our sons were small. The complementary chips and salsa are deadly and many a time family members have complained about being full even before their meals have arrived.
Back walking the streets of AU Park we passed the house of our cousins, Steve and Grace. We love their plant lined front walkway and pergola over the front door. Unfortunately, they weren’t in as we passed by.