When Pierre L`Enfant was given the task of designing the capital of the fledgling United States he described his choice of a site as "a pedestal waiting for a monument." That pedestal would also be home to a handful of developers ranging from a senator from Maryland to a widow left in charge of the ferry (actually a rowboat) that crossed the Anacostia River. While only one of the first period houses still stands, enough is known about the others to recreate the complete story of the first property owners of Capitol Hill.
Hill Center and Capitol Hill Village host this talk by John Vlach, a member of Capitol Hill Village and member of the faculty at The George Washington University for thirty-two years. He is the author of nine books, including : The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts (1978), Charelston Blacksmith (1981), Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture (1986), Folk Art and Artworlds (1986), Plainter Painters (1988), By the Work of Their Hands (1991), Back of the Big House (1993), The Planter`s Prospect (2002), Barns (2003) -- winner of the Kniffen Prize -- and many essays and book chapters. For five years he served as a member of the DC Historic Preservation Review Board and remains an advisor to the Ruth Ann Overbeck Lecture Series held regularly on The Hill.
Come early to enjoy a docent led, historical tour of Hill Center, which will begin at 6:00pm. The lecture will begin at 7:00pm.
"I looked at the new brochures for the Deanwood and Civil Rights Heritage Trails. I am always astonished and amazed at the work you do and the quality of it. Beautiful."