Coffee shops have traditionally been associated as being intellectual epicenters. Imagine a bohemian site full of young vivid intellectuals, reading, discussing and writing. Commonly these locations will be thought of being something of the past or in a faraway European location. What if I told you there is such a place right now at Adams Morgan? In addition to all those erudite activities it is also a Christian church. It may sound bizarre to find such a location at Washington DC, a city not precisely associated with intellectual activity, rather with being a political “swamp”. The place mentioned before is called Potter’s House and since the 1960s has been an intellectual center for Washington DC. It has transformed the intellectual scene of a very concurred location of the city and worked to deliver its core values, solidarity, justice, spirituality and care for the earth.
To understand the real impact of this cafe is important to begin with a brief history of it. The Potter’s House was originally created by Gordon and Mary Cosby, they envisioned a place where everyone could gather no matter their faith. With the help of some members of The Church of Savior they built the cafe. For the coming years, it was a great success even to the extent that other churches tried to replicate the model all around the United States. Potter’s House got involved with different international social causes in the decade on the 1980’s with the humanitarian crisis around Central America. They worked together with this Latin American communities that arrived and developed small business in Adams Morgan. Now a days Potter’s House continues to be socially active and working a better community. According to their website, “The Potter’s House has provided a place where neighbors can become friends, ask big questions, and build movements. In a city whose name is synonymous with the plans of the powerful, it has sought to model a new way – one in which everyone’s gifts are celebrated and shared for the good of all.” In other words, Potter’s House believes that they have created a multicultural place where they recognize the contributions from minority groups. Potter’s House takes pride with its rich history, thats why a special part of their webpage is exclusively dedicated to the history of the place.
After a brief history of the Potter’s House is important to start an in depth description of the webpage. As soon as you access Potter’s House main page is clear this is not a common restaurant webpage. The sober colors and simple initial page its not trying to sell you anything. The main colors are a black and white, the two most sober colors there are. The header has seven different tabs, home, cafe, books, events, space use, about us and contact. The main part of the webpage is a galley of photos that shows different scenes at different times periods Potters House has existed. There is a constant juxtaposition between old and new in the webpage. This follows the rhetoric used to present Potter’s House as a place that has served the community for many years. Also, the vast majority of the pictures contain people from different ethnic backgrounds, we can see, Caucasian, African Americans and Latin Americans. This follows the multiethnic background continuously mentioned through out the webpage.
The location is presented as an intellectual space were people, books and art contribute to the intellectual development of Adams Morgan. This value is also present in Potter’s House webpage through out the descriptions and the galleries there are multiple pictures were books appear.
On the one hand, we have the sobriety and tradition of Potter’s House webpage. On the other hand, Starbucks webpage is full of colors and pictures of coffees’s. The main difference between the rhetoric implemented by Potter’s House and Starbucks is that the first one wants to tell you a story and the second one wants to sell you a product. Potter’s House webpage states, “A Cafe, Bookstore, and Community Space Rooted in Adams Morgan Since 1960.” This means two things this is not only a business but a space for the community. Its prime purpose is not to gain profit but to serve as a space for the people that live in Adams Morgan. Instead the