Phil Casey “Potter’s House is Still a Home for Everyone.” The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), Mar 07, 1971, pp. 2, ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post,


In “Potter’s House is Still a Home for Everyone,” Phil Casey claims that Potter’s House stands true to the principals it was created. More specifically, he tells the story of when the coffee house was created and how it continues that legacy eleven years later. The first couple of paragraphs talk about Reverend N. Gordon Cosby creating the coffeehouse and how a visit to a New England tavern took them to open such a place instead of a traditional church. Consequently, the coffee house began a trend that spread throughout the entire country.  Throughout the piece it is mention that one of the goals of the coffee shop was to “rebuild the city”. At that particular time Washington DC was a deeply fractured city and there were few multicultural commonplaces. At Potter’s House they received “wide range of subjects, political, social, economic, cultural and religious.” In other words, everyone was welcomed there. It was not common that in the beginning of 1970s there was a business that took pride of social mixing. That’s what makes Potter’s House such an iconic landmark for Adams Morgan, Washington DC and the whole country.

This is one of the best sources I have found for this project. It contains many key quotes that will be helpful to implement when in conversation with other sources. For example, “Christ would have been more at home in the coffee house”. This quotes ties together the two main places of my commonplace, the coffee house and the Church of the Savior. This type of quotes can incorporate the two branches of my research. Potter’s House as a commonplace that brought a huge cultural impact to Adams Morgan and the Church of the Savior efforts to innovate in religious spaces. Also, this piece is highly adaptive for prospective sources, it permits me to have a great array of fields that connect with it.


Sandra Evans Washington Post,Staff Writer. “Congregation Marks Rare Reunion.”The Washington Post (1974-Current file), Oct 26, 1987, pp. 2, ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post,


In “Congregation Marks Rare Reunion,”  Sandra Evans explains how the ecumetical Church of Savior celebrates 40 years of its founding. She continues to chronologically tell the different social projects the church has done at Adams Morgan since it arrived to Washington DC. It begins with the “acclaimed” Jubilee Housing that with the help of James Rouse a famous real estate developer began renovating apartment buildings and keeping them low income properties. Following that, it mentions another separate branch of the church, Potter’s House cafe. The last two projects that were marching at that particular time frame where the Columbia Road Health Services Clinic and Jubilee Jobs. Mary Cosby the wife of Reverend Cosby noted that “When you get people housing, you realize they have no jobs; so you get them jobs, and then realize they have no health care”. In other words, Cosby realized how is not sufficient to only provide housing for a person to be totally well off, people need jobs and healthcare too. At that time the church was looking to expand its samaritan activities to wider fronts. This included sheltering refugees from Central America, sending volunteers to Calcutta to work with Mother Theresa and creating Samaritan Inns to house homeless. The Church of the Savior has contributed to building a more equal society with the hands of few but passionate volunteers.

Potter’s House will not exist if it wasn’t for the caritative work of the Church of The Saviour. It is important to know the work this institution made and the impact it had on both the Washington DC and the world community. This source will enter the conversation perfectly complementing the information of enumenical churches and the work they have done in Adams Morgan. Is necessary for the correct mapping of Potter’s House commonplace to incorporate the philanthropic work of the church that runs the establishment. Also, all the  

Lily Percy. “Pastor, Mentor And Social Activist: Remembering Gordon Cosby.” Remembrances WAMU 88.5

In “Pastor, Mentor And Social Activist: Remembering Gordon Cosby,” Lily Percy celebrates the life of Pastor Gordon N. Cosby. In this obituary note, Percy gathers statements from a wide array of friends of Reverend Cosby. Cosby founded the first interracial Church in Washington DC and devoted his life to social change in the city. He made a huge impact to the community around him. Jim Wallis a prominent Christian writer said, “Many people have never heard of him, but he shaped the vocations of so many of us that he shaped the church more than any pastor of his generation.” In other words, Wallis beliefs that Cosby was one of the most influential reverends of that time period in America. His lifelong work was impacting community culture.

I plan to use Lily Percy obituary note on Reverend Gordon Cosby as an exhibit of all the positive actions done by this great man. The testimonies of his friends and specialists on religion will be put in conversation with argumentative and methodic sources. It is important to situate this type of quotes with historic facts that validate the work done by Reverend Cosby in Adams Morgan. Potters House is one of the most tangible representations of his life work.


Doubt, Keith. “The Rhetoric of History.” American Journal of Sociology, vol. 95, no. 2, 1989, pp. 221–238.,

In “The Rhetoric of History,” Allan Megill and Donald N. McCloskey explore the rhetoric used to write history and persuade them. More categorically, how history is worded to act as a form of persuasion. For example, behind of the rhetoric used in history there is a “dependence on value, judgement and individual insight.” (221) In other words, Megill and McCloskey believe that there is a certain change in the way history is written due to personal biases from historians. For both authors, history that is not written with rhetoric loses the true conversation of humankind.

In the Build Environment Analysis project I have worked with many historical sources. After reading “The Rhetoric of History,” I learned how they should be treated when brought in conversation with each other. Historians have a great importance in the way history transcends and how is understood in future generations. There is a considerable amount of ambiguity in historical writings, that is something I should take into account when working on the analysis. Rhetoric is a fundamental part of history writing and being resilient about that idea will be naive.

“An Interview with Gordon Cosby: Co-Founder of the Church of the Saviour.” Family and Community Ministries, vol. 21, no. 2, Sept. 2007, pp. 32-35. EBSCOhost,

In “An Interview With Gordon Cosby,” a group of Baylor social workers and seminary students interview Gordon Cosby. Cosby was the Co- founder of The Church of the Saviour, the institution that founded and runs Potter’s House Cafe. In an spiritual dialogue Cosby talks about the understanding he has about Christianity, poverty, cultural injustice, among other matters. All of this dialogue is centered towards Washington DC. For example, he says “Today, we are an educated nation, but our city is tragic.” (33) In this passage, Cosby mentions how the situation of the city is terrible, taking into account how the United States is an educated system. Some of the causes are the terrible education in public schools and social inequality. For Cosby, Washington DC should be a city filled with love, that responds to the necessities of all its people not only the elites.

Reverend Gordon N. Cosby is the main figure of my research, thanks to his passion and community service he positively impacted Washington DC. Getting a primary source for my research grants credibility and depth. This interview will enter nicely to the conversation because it will contribute with first hand information. Also, it is important to analyze the rhetoric he uses in his responses to corroborate the narrative of historic documents.

Bitzer, Lloyd F. “The Rhetorical Situation.” Philosophy & Rhetoric, vol. 25, 1992, pp. 1–14.,

In “The Rhetorical Situation,” Lloyd F. Bitzer explores the nature in which speakers and writers create rhetorical discourse. More specifically, Bitzer mentions how meaning- context is fundamental for human communication. Also, he explores a formal definition, examines the constituents of a rhetorical situation and how it invites for change. For example, he explains that “Prior to the creation and presentation of discourse, there are three constituents for a rhetorical situation: exigence, audience and constraints.” (6) In this passage, Bitzer mentions for the first time the three constituents of the rhetorical situation. He then proceeds to mention throughout  the essay the general characteristics and features of each one. For Bitzer, speech only becomes rhetorical when it responds to a rhetorical situation and includes the three constituents.

This essay is one of the most complex sources I have encountered so far in my research. This piece is one of the most important pieces in the field of rhetoric, incorporating it to my Build Environment Analysis will give a more erudite tone. I plan to use it as a method for analyzing other sources and to see how they approach the three constituents of a rhetorical situation.  Analyzing the exigence, audience and constraints will allow me to correctly understand the rhetorical meaning of each source. Also, it will lead me to effectively set them in conversation with each other and to deeply understand the rhetorical situations involving my commonplace.


Lloyd, James M. “Fighting Redlining and Gentrification in Washington, D.C.” Journal of Urban History, vol. 42, no. 6, Nov. 2016, pp. 1091-1109.

In “Fighting Redlining and Gentrification in Washington, DC: The Adams- Morgan Organization and Tenant Right to Purchase,” James M. Lloyd proofs how the right to purchase legislation provided legal guarantees for community organizations to prevent redlining and gentrification. More specifically, Lloyd explores the impact this piece of legislation had on the demographics of Adams Morgan. For example, Lloyd explains “In 1973, the District of Columbia was granted home rule by Congress. This grant of self determination gave its majority African American population control of the city’s politics overnight.” (1095) In this passage, Lloyd mentions the important and rapid effect right to purchase legislation had on the political opportunity for African American communities.

In my study I have noticed the vast multiculturalism Adams Morgan has, it is important for me to understand the cultural shifts throughout Adams Morgan history. This study of the impact of right to purchase legislation will serve as an exhibit for mapping my commonplace. The type of data the document poses will be placed in conversation with more theoretical sources to find the perfect framework of theoretical and practical information.



Emilia Sarno. “The Recognition of Intellectual Spaces as a Cultural Heritage: A Territorial Perspective.”            Revista de Turismo Y Patrimonio Cultural, vol. Vol.11 N.2, 2013, pp. 459–470.


In her article, “ The recognition of intellectual spaces as a cultural heritage: a territorial perspective” Emilia Sarno argues the concept
of cultural heritage and the different parts where is developed. Sarno begins with the introduction of the concept of cultural heritage and the different definitions that have been used. In addition, she marks how the term is relatively new, it began to be used in the 20th century. Nowadays, the most effective definition is the one used by the UNESCO, “Intangible Cultural Heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage” (460).  In other words, intangible cultural heritage is the means used to develop cultural heritage.

Subsequently, Sarno proceeds to analyze the geography of intellectual spaces and note how geography serves in the diffusion of knowledge. According to Sarno, “Geography can therefore clarify the question of, and contribute to the discovery of the ways in which intellectual work is carried out” (461). Sarno points that geography plays a crucial role in the way knowledge is spread. After that she briefly mentions the history of scholars finding places to hold intellectual gatherings. Is worth noting, that the main location discussed was “literary cafes”. Those places in particular are key for the expansion of intangible cultural heritage.

The following paragraphs Sarno explains her research methodology, the results of her studies in Europe mainly the south of Italy, the importance of “literary cafes” and finally her conclusion. In her conclusion, Sarno maintains that “[literary cafes] deserve to be considered as an integral part of the cultural heritage of a city or of the territorial area in which they were to be found, principally for their activities” (466). The essence of Sarno’s argument is that “literary cafes” must be recognized as places that cultivated and fomented knowledge. They served as intellectual spaces throughout history for the consolidation of cultural heritage.

The location I choose for studying is Potter’s House cafe.This work fits perfectly for the development of my argument. Because it talks about the importance of “literary cafes” in the consolidation of cultural heritage. This kind of places serve as intellectual epicenters of the places they are located. In particular Potter’s House has distinct intellectual and cultural gatherings including worship on Sundays. For decades this place has permitted the expansion of intangible cultural heritage in one of the most lively neighborhoods in Washington DC, Adams Morgan.