Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Exploring Congress Heights

Pick Up a Copy of this Informative DC Community Heritage Project Brochure

The Congress Heights Community Association, and the Anacostia Coordinating Council recently showcased their DC Community Heritage Project, Exploring Congress Heights, and the distribution campaign for the informative brochure is well underway.

The group printed an initial run of 6,000 copies for distribution throughout the city, and a second edition is due to follow. The pamphlet provides a timeline of the community, and describes some of the unique cultural landmarks which still connect residents and visitors to the history of the community. The brochure highlights Henson's farm, a tract of land belonging to a manumitted slave who purchased his own freedom and that of his family in 1813. Though the demographics of the neighborhood would fluctuate in subsequent decades, Henson and his extended family were such a strong early presence in the community that his descendants are still in the neighborhood today.

The brochure also features: St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Old Congress Heights School, the First Post Office building, and homes designed by noted African-American architect Lewis W. Giles, Sr. Look for physical copies of the brochure to be distributed in a public library, school, or business near you soon, or if you've lost your copy, visit the Humanities Council's DC Digital Museum to download it in PDF format.

Project Director: Phillip Pannel and
Project Scholar: Dr. Joy Kinard
The second run of the brochure will incorporate additional feedback from the community regarding the accepted borders of the neighborhood - a subject that causes contention in all communities with a strong sense of history. As you review the brochure, drop back by this blog post and leave comments. Where are the boundaries of Congress Heights? What are the significant historical moments? Who were the community leaders? How do we use this heritage to continue improving the community.

For more information on Congress Heights, check out these sources:

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