Nersessova, Irina. “Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photographs of A Forgotten New York.” Disclosure 23(2014): 26 Advanced Placement SOurce. Web. 20 Nov. 2015
This article explains Margaret Morton’s pictures and her observations of the homeless in New York City. Morton asserts that people judge the homeless for their appearance and their lack of success in life, so some homeless decide to live in dark tunnels where they feel safe. The tunnel acts as their home and it is a place where they are free from judgement. Although Morton observes these tunnels that act as homes for the homeless, Morton argues that the sidewalks above ground can also act as a home. She believes that a structure does not make a place a home, rather the people, culture, and environment makes the area feel like a home. Thus people who live on the streets are not actually homeless, rather they lack an actual structure to inhabit. The source itself is reliable, as it describes a study which has an accompanying picture book that exhibits Morton’s findings.
I plan to use this source to make an argument that refutes the claims of the citizens of Dupont Circle who begged for the homeless to disappear. The people from the other source align with the people Morton talk about who judge the homeless and make the homeless feel uncomfortable. I will also use this source to argue that the panhandlers are not actually homeless, because their homes are the streets. Also, they are a part of Dupont’s community because they have been present in the area for a long time.
Armstrong, Jenice. “Dupont Circle Wants Relief From Beggars” The Washington Post. Washington D.C: June 1990
This source is an article from the Washington Post, and it was published on June 14th, 1990. The article includes many opinions from people who want the homeless people off the sidewalks of Dupont. Residents of Dupont call the homeless “panhandlers” and have little regards for the beggar’s feelings. People in the area afraid of the panhandlers, claiming that they feel uncomfortable and threatened. Citizens hold meetings about the homeless and encourage others to fight back by not giving the beggars money in the hopes that beggars will leave. Citizens have brought in the police, and are unhappy that the police can not remove the homeless. In the closing paragraphs, a member of the Capitol Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals suggests handing panhandlers cards that tell them places to receive help. Aside from the actual syntax, this source seems very reliable because it is a primary source from the actual time of the complaints. It also comes from a popular newspaper which seemed to interview many people of their opinions.
I will use this source as an argument about the amount of homeless people in Dupont Circle. As I observed the area surrounding the Dupont Circle Club and even inside the club, I saw a substantial amount of homeless people. I wondered why there were so many in a place that advertises itself as a ritzy area. This article shows that homeless people have always been present in the area. I will use this to make a statement about the area, but also about the residents of Dupont. It is clear that the residents do not want the panhandlers around because residents think the homeless do not belong; however, the homeless may believe that the streets of Dupont are their home. I will use this article in conjunction with Irina Nersessova Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photographs of A Forgotten New York which tells a story from the homeless people’s point of view, for there is a great contrast between how the residents feel verses the people living on the street.
4. Exhibit/ Background
Washington Evening Star Newspaper Articles on French Poodle Store
“Why You Can Buy A Luxurious Prestige.” Washington Evening Star. March 26, 1964.
There are plenty of newspapers that advertise a place called French Poodle, a fur clothing store located at 1623 Connecticut Ave. Specifically, there are two newspaper ads that were published in March 1964. The first article advertises a bunch of gently used mink pieces which are being sold “as low as $88.” The second article also advertises French Poodle which has three different storefronts, but specifically promotes the one located at the same place as the AA club. According to the ad, their other location has been robbed, so there will be a big sale at the store on Connecticut Avenue. The primary source is reliable and factual because it is a true advertisement to the high class citizens who lived and shopped in Dupont in 1964.
I plan to use this article to exhibit the history of the 1623 Connecticut Ave location and support the claim that Dupont was, and still is, a high class area. The most telling part of the first source is the syntax it uses. In describing the minks, the ad says, “they are the minks which we rent to exquisitely dressed woman.” This sentence establishes a targeted audience which the store wishes to sell their minks to, and it communicates that they only sell high class minks to equally high class people. However, the minks are gently used. In order to maintain their reputation of selling expensive, high class clothing, they write in the ad, “actually they get very little wear, but we must classify them as ‘second hand use.’” This reputation of a rich area is very interesting because Dupont is such a diverse and urban area. I will also use it to contrast the these ritzy places with Dupont’s high homeless population. Concurrently, it will support other articles that I have found which claim that Dupont citizens fought hard to rid Dupont of homeless people.
3. Exhibit/ Background
Washington Evening Star Newspaper Articles (*note: link to source in dates of newspaper articles)
Two newspaper articles from Washington Evening Star both include a funeral section. Both articles are reliable sources from an established newspaper company that specifically states facts in the two sections used for this interior analysis. The first newspaper article is from March 9th,1926, while the second article is from June 18, 1927. The article from 1926, includes an obituary about a man named Robinson who died on March 7th, 1926. In the obituary section, it says, “remains resting at 1623 Connecticut Ave”, which is the same place the Dupont Circle Club lies today. This sentence leads to questions about whether the person was buried under their house and why the body was specifically there. The question is answered by the article from 1927 that infers that the 1623 Connecticut Ave location was inhabited by a funeral home. Written under the “funeral directors” section of the newspaper, it says, “ Almus R. Speare, succeeding the original W.R Speare Co. 1623 Connecticut Ave.” This section of the newspaper infers that the funeral home is now being ran by a new director.
I plan to use this information to exhibit the evolution of the building that currently holds the Dupont Circle Club. My original assumption was that the building that houses the club was originally an apartment building due to its structure, however, I can not conclude that the place was a funeral home. I can also use these articles as background information that tells the history of the interior environment and perhaps interpret the layout of the space from a new perspective. Lastly I can use the information as an argument that Dupont was an accepting and diverse place, for this one location houses two organizations that very clearly stand out: an alcoholics anonymous club and a funeral home.
This is a video which focuses on the sound that one is likely to here in the evening. 6pm is a busy time for restaurants in Dupont Circle. Here is an example of the conversations and sounds you will here if you walked along the sidewalk during this time. The video also includes faint sounds of cars zooming by the outdoor restaurants.
Many buildings in Dupont resemble this model. The buildings are three to four stories tall, with lots of windows. The buildings are very rigid with unique colors and shapes, and the layout of the structures confirms that the current stores were once row homes. Also, the trees and lights in front of the stores give that peaceful and ritzy feeling.
Here is an example of the traffic. The parked cars makes the street seem more chaotic than it actually is. If one looks closely, they can see that there are at least four lanes. The traffic is likely to be congested due to the merging of streets where cars join traffic from below.
This picture exhibits the congestion of the sidewalks and depicts how it is divided among people, stores, bikes and signs. The picture also shows the type of high end stores such as Blue Mercury and Lou Lou Boutique amongst the cheaper stores such as Smoothie King and Comfort Shoes. Lasty, the rigid, row home-like, architecture is apparent from this view.
This is one of many high class stores which a visitor is bound to see. Dupont is filled with many shopping attractions which all follow the model of open doors and big windows. The windows act as exhibits that allow people to see the best of what the store has to offer, creating incentive for people to come in and shop, thus adding to D.C’s revenue.
This Dupont Circle sign appears on almost every other light pole. It welcomes people to Dupont Circle, allows people to know where they are, and advertises their website where people can learn about upcoming events, places to eat and the history of Dupont. The flag features the iconic fountain in the center of Dupont Circle which has been attracting kids on hot summer days since 1940s. The fountain was donated by the Library of Congress (Williams 8).