Cleveland Park (August 12, 2019)
Back in Cleveland Park this evening. We started by walking down Newark Street toward Connecticut Avenue, passing by some stunning historic houses along the way.
We came across this call box which gave a brief description of the Queen Anne architectural style that was popular at the time that Cleveland park was being developed. It includes a whimsical painting of the house that stands behind it.
The painting is by Di Stovall, a nationally acclaimed artist who lives in Cleveland Park. Her husband, Lou Stovall, is a well known print maker, and founder or Workshop, Inc., a print studio that has been used by many famous artists, including Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam and Alexander Calder.
Our friends used to live in the following house with its distinctive front window. It was once owned by Robert Peary, a famous American explorer and United States Navy officer. Peary is mostly known for claiming to have reached the North Pole in 1909. Whether he actually did reach the pole has been widely debated. In 1989, British explorer, Wally Herbert concluded that Peary did not reach the pole although, he may have been as close as 60 miles. Herbert’s conclusions have been widely accepted, but are still disputed by some authorities. The round window, within the square window is reminiscent of the round portholes in ships.
We liked this art deco apartment building on the corner of Newark Street and Connecticut Avenue.
Down on Connecticut Avenue we walked along the main stand of shops and restaurants that line both sides of the Avenue.
We passed by historic Sam’s Park & Shop. This was one of the first strip malls in the area, built in 1931. These days, when fewer and fewer people own cars, the plaza has suffered a lot of turnover with its retail tenants.
The firefighters of Engine Company No. 28 lounged outside the front of their station and watched the world pass by on a beautiful summer’s evening.
One of the things that has surprised us during our walks is how easy it is to find yourself in deep woods. You can easily imagine that you are miles outside the city in the forest and not just off a main road.
Adas Israel synagogue looked very impressive, lit gold in the evening sunshine. Adas is the largest conservative synagogue in Washington DC. President Ulysses S. Grant attended the dedication of its first building in 1876, the first time a sitting United States President had attended a synagogue service. The first building still exists after being restored by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. It is located downtown and is part of the Capital Jewish Museum.
The current building opened in 1950 for a cost of nearly $1.3 million, an exorbitant amount at the time. On a personal note, Lauren’s grandparents, who lived just up the road, were members of the synagogue.
We walked down Connecticut Avenue, crossing over the Klingle Valley Bridge, into Woodley Park.
Looking down from the bridge we noticed these two trees that were negative images of each other.
We also looked down to the Klingle trail that ran under the bridge.
The Klingle Trail was the subject of much dispute during the 1990s and early 2000s. The trail had originally been a much used road but was closed due to erosion in 1991. Many advocated for the road to be reopened but a competing campaign advocated that the road instead be turned into a cycling and walking trail. After two decades of dispute, the cyclists and hikers eventually won out and the renovated trail was opened to the public in 2017.
For a couple of weeks each summer, it appears that everyone has left for the beach and getting around the city becomes a breeze. Hence the following photo, looking back up Connecticut Avenue toward Cleveland Park with not a car in sight. If only it could always be this way.
We stopped by another classic apartment building, the Kennedy-Warren. Opened in 1931, with further wings added later, it is considered the largest and best example of art deco architecture in the District.
Sometimes we come across neighborhood streets that look as if they are part of some sleepy little country town rather than a large vibrant metropolis. This is an example.