Thursday, June 18, 2009

Truxton Circle in Shaw

Shaw and Truxton as a concept
Maps from the mid 19th century do show some settlement in the area presently known as Shaw[1]. But the structures are clustered along a few main roads while other areas, like modern day Truxton Circle, are empty with a few isolated lonely structures.
As time progressed the population of the area grew. However, there is little to no evidence of any particular neighborhood name such as Shaw existing prior to the urban renewal project in the mid 20th century. Despite a circle there is no evidence of Truxton Circle as a neighborhood name, rather it was a landmark that things were "near" [2].
Prior to the Federal government's National Capital Planning Commission, along with the RLA (Redevelopment Land Agency), creation of the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area, the name Shaw was associated with the Jr. High. It's application to any particular area could be stretched with the application of that school's borders which was established in the 50's [3]. As part of the Redevelopment Act (of 1961?) the National Capitol Planning Commission defined the borders of what is modern Shaw as the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area. See this map from 1970 to see what was and what wasn't Shaw [4].
Truxton in Shaw
In 1969, a grad student working with MICCO, Model Inner City Community Organization, in Shaw, noticed, "Concentrations and/or differences in land uses, physical conditions and building types, income property ownership and race coupled with identifiable places of community activity, all combine to suggest several communities within the Shaw area (see map 3)." One of the communities Mr. Reginald Wilbert Griffith mapped out in his MIT dissertation, fits the outline of Truxton Circle [5]. Also another smaller community within Shaw acknowledged it was in Shaw. In 1973 in a report submitted to RLA in the introduction, the first sentence reads, " The Logan Circle Historic District is a unique assemblage of 154 Victorian buildings located in the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area"[6].
Unfortunately Truxton is separated from the rest of Shaw by Ward boundaries. The majority of Shaw is in Ward 2, while Truxton is in Ward 5. These political boundaries also reflect police districts, most of Shaw being in the 3rd district and Truxton in the 5th. So with these political boundaries, determined by census data, like congressional districts, it may give the false appearance that Truxton is it's own separated neighborhood.

Okay, I'm not really interested in adding anymore footnotes, so I'm stopping. Disagreeing commenters can talk about their feelings and opinions which are neither evidence nor proof. In the arguments about borders and such it seems no one bothers doing research. Claims with out anything to back it up is just bull.

Messy Footnotes-
1. Map of Washington City, District of Columbia, seat of the federal government : respectfully dedicated to the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of North America / surveyed and published by A. Boschke C.E. from the Library of Congress. Circa 1857.
2. SALE OF SIX HOMES SHOW PRICES HIGH The Washington Post (1877-1954). Washington, D.C.: Apr 27, 1919. p. R6 (1 page) and $110,500 IN SALES OF HOMES IN CITY; Houses Fetch $17,500 Disposed by Hartung & Gibbons. The Washington Post (1877-1954). Washington, D.C.: Nov 7, 1920. p. 34 (1 page).
3. "Corning Sets Integrated School Zone Boundaries," by Marie Smith, Washington Post, July 2, 1954 p. 1, 25-26.
4. NCPC File No. UR-07 "Resolution Modifying the Boundaries and Urban Renewal Plan for the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area"; File UR 07 Modification #6 NDP 2; Records Relating to Urban Renewal; National Capital Planning Commission (1952-), Record Group 328; National Archives Building Washington, DC: and SHAW SCHOOL URBAN RENEWAL AREA District of Columbia. As adopted by the National Capitol Planning commission and approved by the District of Columbia Council through March 29, 1973. N.C.P.C Map File 31 20
5. "The influence of meaningful citizen participation on the urban renewal process and the renewal of the inner-city's black community: a case study - Washington, D.C.'s Shaw School urban renewal area - MICCO, a unique experiment." by Reginald Wilbert Griffith 1969. MIT, Cambridge, MA
6. "The Logan Circle Historic Preservation Area: Summary if a Report Submitted to the RLA" by Turner Associates, P.C. and Nicholas Satterlee & Associates. Summary prepared October 1973. (Possibly from the National Archives RG 328, National Capital Planning Commission, unknown series, box 92, no file.)

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3 Comments:

At 6/19/2009 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to let you know that they are starting construction on the Howard Theater.

 
At 6/19/2009 10:38 AM, Blogger Mari said...

Real live construction or stabilization? I've seen a couple of false starts so I come with a heaping pile of skepticism.

 
At 6/19/2009 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We live across the street and woke up to jackhammers, a huge dumpster & the gate surrounding the front of the theater unlocked. We talked to the guy working on the building and he says that they are getting ready to start renovations. I'll keep an eye out .. check out my blog for pictures.

 

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