Day 62

Georgetown (November 9, 2019)

On another beautiful Autumn afternoon, we strolled the beautiful tree lined streets of Georgetown.

We passed by the historic Volta Laboratory and Bureau.

Volta Laboratory and Bureau

This beautiful neoclassic yellow brick and sandstone building was constructed by Alexander Graham Bell in 1893 to serve as a center of information for deaf and hard of hearing persons. Bell, best known for inventing the telephone, was also also an important figure in fostering education for the deaf. His wife, Mabel, had been deaf from early childhood and his grandfather and father were both teachers of speech. Bell, himself, trained teachers of speech to the deaf and was a professor of vocal physiology and mechanics of speech at Boston University.

Across the street from the Volta building is Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, a private Catholic college-preparatory school for girls.

Founded in 1779 by the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, it is one of the oldest continuously-operating school for girls in the country as well as the oldest Catholic school for girls in the original thirteen colonies. It has approximately 500 students.

Like Burleith, Georgetown, has more than its share of colorful houses and stores.

We walked up the Exorcist steps, a popular tourist destination. The steps feature in the 1973 horror movie, The Exorcist, as the site of the climatic final showdown between a self-sacrificing priest and a demon possessing a twelve year old girl.

We wondered into the campus of Georgetown University. The University was founded in 1789 by Bishop John Carroll, the first bishop and archbishop in the United States. His statue sits at the main entrance of the University.

The University has an interesting blend of architecture, including everything from neo-gothic to brutalist buildings.

What we found most interesting, however, were the student residences which were gathered in what appeared to be some type of upmarket tenement, complete with narrow alleys, steel staircases and elevated pathways.

Some of the surrounding streets still have cobble stones and tram tracks.

And a number of the homes have beautiful entrances.

We walked for a while on Wisconsin Avenue, one of the two main shopping streets in Georgetown.

We noticed a number of empty storefronts. Georgetown does not appear to be the hub it once was, with more and more action centering around 14th street in Shaw.

However, one place that never goes out of style is Cafe Milano, which continues to attract the city’s rich and famous.

We also passed Hyde-Addison Elementary School. Part of the DC Public Schools system, the school teaches pre-K to fifth grade students. The school was founded in 1907 and is named after Anthony J. Hyde, a Georgetown businessman and schools advocate. Perhaps not surprisingly, based on the other schools we have passed, Hyde, recently, underwent a renovation.

Old Hyde
New Hyde to the left

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