- Le Droit Park
name = LeDroit Park Historic District
location =Bounded roughly by Florida and Rhode Island Aves., 2nd and Elm Sts., Howard University
lat_degrees = 38
lat_minutes = 55
lat_seconds = 8.5872
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 77
long_minutes = 1
long_seconds = 1.326
long_direction = W
February 25, 1974
refnum = 74002165
Le Droit Park is a neighborhood in
Washington, D.C.located immediately southeast of Howard University. Its borders include W Street to the north, Rhode Island Avenueand Florida Avenueto the south, Second Street to the east, and Georgia Avenueto the west.
Developed by Amzi Barber (Board of Trustees, Howard University) in the 1870s LeDroit Park was one of the first suburbs of Washington. Its Victorian mansions and row-houses were designed by architect James McGill.
Le Droit Park was developed and marketed as a "romantic" neighborhood with narrow tree-lined streets that bore the same names as the trees that shaded them. Extensive focus was placed on the landscaping of this neighborhood, as developers spent a large sum of money to plant flower beds and trees to attract high profile professionals from the city. LeDroit Park was even gated with guards to promote security for its hopeful residents.
Though intended for White residents only, LeDroit Park became integrated by Blacks after students from Howard University tore down the part of the fence that gated the community in protest of its discriminating policies.
By the 1940s LeDroit Park became a major focal point for the
African-Americanelite as many prominent figures resided there. Griffith Stadiumwas also located here until the 1965, when the Howard University Hospital was built where it used to stand. Le Droit Park residents have included:
William Birney– Civil War Veteran owned the stately mansion on Anna J. Cooper Circle. (T & Second Street)
Edward Brooke– First African American to win the senate seat by popular vote, was born in this house in 1919. (1938 Third Street)
Ralph J. Bunche– The first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace prize for his mediation in Palestine; resided in LeDroit Park during his professorship at Howard University. — (No address found)
Benjamin O. Davis Sr.– The first African American general, commander of the World War II Tuskegee airman. (No address found)
* Hon. Oscar De Priest – First Black Congressmen since reconstruction, lived here for his three terms in office. (419 U Street)
Paul Laurence Dunbar– Black Poet Laureate & Howard University Alumnus. (321 U Street)
Duke Ellington– jazzlegend, lived in the neighborhood with his family during his early childhood. (420 Elm Street)
Christian Fleetwood– One of the first Blacks to be awarded the Medal of Honor. (319 U Street)
* Julia West Hamilton – Civic leader and member of N.A.C.W. (320 U Street)
Rev. Jesse Jackson– Civil rights activist credited with starting the Rainbow/PUSH coalition. (Corner of Fourth & T Streets)
Ernest Everett Just– Professor in Biology, researcher in Biogenetics with significant contributions to Zoology and Biogenetics. (No address found)
* Dr. Jesse Lawson and Dr.
Anna J. Cooper– Both prominent educators who founded Frelinghuysen University to educate Blacks working-class adults. Lawson also was a Lawyer (Howard University Law, 1881) who advocated for the rights of poor D.C. residents. (201 T Street)
* Willis Richards – Prominent playwright credited with having the first serious play to be performed on Broadway. (512 U Street)
Mary Church Terrell– Heiress and activist for civil rights and woman’s suffrage. (326 T Street, National Historic Landmark)
Walter Washington– the first mayor of DC elected under home rule (408 T Street)
Clarence Cameron White– A Prominent Violinist educator in fine arts and Howard Alumni (No address found)
* Dr. Garnet C. Wilkinson – Superintendent of Colored Schools during segregation. (406 U Street)
* Octavius Augustus Williams – U.S. Capitol Barber and first Black to integrate LeDroit Park (338 U Street)
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