Day 21

Wakefield / Tenleytown / Van Ness (July 26, 2019)

We headed back for another day walking in Wakefield. We came across some very pretty houses, including this one with its shingles and stained beams.

Some places made us feel like we were somewhere more tropical.

There were also some very cool semi-detached places in all different styles.

We passed by Tenleytown institution, Camillo’s barbershop. Above Camillo’s is a dance studio where Lauren spent many happy hours in the 1990s studying and teaching Synergy dance.

Here is another example of a call box used for artistic and historical purposes. This one depicts the Tenleytown Firehouse built in 1903.

As you can see from the following photo, the Firehouse has since expanded, undergoing a renovation in the early 2000s.

Tenleytown Firehouse

We loved this gothic-style gate.

Between Reno Road and Connecticut Avenue and bisected by Van Ness Street is an area consisting almost entirely of embassies. Here are many of them.

United Arab Emirates

Tucked in among the embassies is International Park. Sitting in the park is an unassuming apple tree that is a direct descendant of the original apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor House, where, legend has it, a young Isaac Newton was sitting, when an apple fell on his head, prompting him to come up with the law of gravity. Irvine Gardner, a scientist with the National Bureau of Standards, acquired four cuttings from the original tree and decided to plant one near his workplace. The land where the tree stands was previously occupied by the National Bureau of Standards. Because the tree is rooted from a cutting rather than propagated from a seed, it’s a genetic clone and is thus a direct descendant.

The Newton Apple Tree
A Newton apple. Was this like the one that fell on Sir Isaac’s head?

Sitting on the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street is a building, designed by Australian architect, John Andrews, that was formerly the headquarters of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat). The building was completed in the 1980s. Currently, it is being transformed by architect Renzo Piano, at a reputed cost of $187 million into a campus for the Whittle School. The concept behind the school is to provide a single school for pre-K through grade 12 students with campuses around the world. A second campus is due to simultaneously launch in Shenzhen, China.

Making our way along Connecticut Avenue through Van Ness we walked by the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) campus. UDC was established in 1851 and is the only public university in the District. It has, approximately, 3,900 undergraduates and postgraduates. The campus in Van Ness was opened in 1968 and provides one of the few extensive examples of brutalist architecture in Ward 3.

Join the Conversation


  1. Love the blog Mal and Lauren, am feeling inspired to do some walking around Melbourne neighbourhoods sometime. It has made me think about the fascinating stories that are always all around us – the Isaac Newton apple tree is a great one! I always imagined a great big red apple falling on his head, so looks like I need to reimagine that. Lots of love to you both xxx


    1. Hi Jenny: Melbourne definitely has its share of interesting streets to walk, although a little tougher with two kids in tow. Hope all is well with you and your fam. Please give our love to everyone. Mal and Lauren.


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