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Click on the link to the Dupont Circle Club website from your web search engine, and a modern, brightly colored page will appear on your screen. The top of the page presents three pictures: one of the layout of the meeting rooms, one showing the exterior of the building between Comfort One Shoes and Lou Lou’s, and the last showing the bible- like Alcoholics Anon book that each recovering alcoholic reads. The site is decorated with orange, yellow, and tan which resembles the interior of the club itself which has yellow painted walls and bright yellow lights. The aesthetic of the page also resembles the aesthetic of the physical club through its pictures, logo, and eagerness to welcome all people. The homepage has a sensible amount of information, encouraging people to remain on the site. The digital document is easy to navigate with obvious hyperlinks on the opening page so that even a person with the least amount of technology experience can explore the site. The web designers created the page to attract as many people as it can in order to present information on the club and get people to donate to their cause.


The main header of the home page reads, “
Your Local Meeting Place in DC for 12-Step Recovery.” The common perception would be that the page is targeted towards the addict looking for a recovery program due to the updated lists of “Today’s Meetings” and summary of how the club helps an addict. However, the side advertisements seem to target a non addict seeking help for a loved one with an addiction. Subsections on the page read, “Become a Supporting Member of the Dupont Circle,” “Make A One-Time Donation,” and “Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will make a donation to: Dupont Circle Club Inc..” The first line in the synopsis of the club mentions that Dupont Circle is a non-profit organization, and then continues by explaining their mission which is to create a safe, clean, organized, and welcoming space for various 12-Step Recovery programs. In the summary of the club, the author of the page asserts that the non-profit program is a welcoming place designed to help addicts, however, as a non profit, they desperately need the donations of outsiders. This cry for help is not targeted to the addicts because most addicts struggle financially because the majority of their income goes to spending money on what they are addicted to. Rather this site speaks to family members and people who have a passion for helping addicts in their recovery process.

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-9-27-36-pmClick on the “Become a Supporting Member Today” link from the homepage and a visitor will land on a page that goes further into detail and explains that different types of members with their corresponding fees. There are seven membership categories with the lowest being a Senior/Student Membership with an annual $50 charge and the highest being a Club Sponsor with an annual charge of $2400. The website lists four ways to make a payment and gives four detailed examples on how the becoming a member truly enriches the club and allows the club to help those in need for free. The layout of this page is tascreen-shot-2016-11-20-at-9-27-50-pmctical, for it gives a brief sentence about why the club was created, explains how donating will help the club, informs the potential donor in bold that all donations to the club are tax deductible, then afterscrolling, the prices of the memberships are displayed. The author of the page excites the potential customer so that he/ or she feels more obligated to donate and less fixated on the price. Even if the person decides to click on one of the other six sub headers that link to other pages within the site, the advertisements aligning the side of each page will remind people to donate.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-12-44-58-pmThe website continues by presenting information that persuade people to want to get involved with the Dupont Circle Club. Their Holidays and Events page justifies their claim that they are open 365 days a year with special events for every holiday and extra meetings for the days such as New Years where many people like to indulge in alcohol which the recovering alcoholics cannot do. Each event is intended for both the recovery and their family and friends. The club is advertising itself similar to the way a church advertises their work. In my experience, Christian churches host fun events in order to obtain more members and get people excited about the main purpose which is a community which learns and spreads the word about Jesus. The Dupont Circle Club is not much different from a typical church because both organizations pride themselves on being welcoming. Both are also non profits which ask for donations to continue their humanitarian work. As I sat in on the alcoholics recovery meeting, I felt very welcomed and was moved to donate money to the basket that was passed around at the end of the meeting. Lastly, the club is associated with Christianity, as they pray in the meetings and have bible verses hanging on the wall.screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-12-37-39-pm

Although the website presents itself to obtain donations, the site is still informative and portrays the positive, caring qualities of the club. Any visitor can easily find information on meeting times, the 18 different 12-step recovery programs, other recovery clubs, upcoming events, and directions to get to the club. The Dupont Circle Club website is skillfully designed so that the club can help others while receiving they help they need to further the organization.

Works Cited


Digital Archives 

Digital Description: Digital Record #1

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-9-43-52-pmThis is the top half of the first page a visitor will see as he or she opens the site. The picture of the chairs resembles the setup of the meeting room. Also shown are the links on the left hand side of the page that prompt people to donate to the club. The right hand side displays the meeting schedule which is intended to inform alcoholics looking to recover and family members attempting to help their loved ones. As mentioned, the page is bright and in coherence with the colors in the logo.

 


screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-9-27-36-pmDigital Description: Digital Record #2

Here is a screenshot of the syntax used to encourage people to donate to the club by becoming a member. The information is distributed through bullet points in order to give visitors a quick read through of the effects of their potential contributions. The information about tax cuts for donors is italicized, bolded, and underlined in order to provide a final incentive for donating.

 

 

 

 

 


screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-9-27-50-pmDigital Description: Digital Record #3

This is the second half of the membership page. The prices for each level of members is shown with different accompanying fees. There is the option for a monthly payment and a annual payment. At the bottom of the page are the four methods of payment which makes donating easy for anyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 


screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-12-44-58-pmDigital Description: Digital Record #4

This is a list of the holiday events and meetings. The opening sentence stresses that the club is opened 365 days a year, and the claim is supported by the events scheduled for holidays which is when most places are closed. The list presents fundraising, formal, and holiday events which would also occur in a church on the same dates. Like the church, the club also acts as a place that provides fun activities on nights where people would normally commit sins or actions that oppose recovery such as overindulging in drinks.

 

 

 

 


screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-12-37-39-pmDigital Description: Digital Record #5

Here is a list of all the meeting times. This page changes daily with different scheduled meetings for each day. The aesthetic of the club’s appearance and colors are displayed again to make the site uniformed. The meetings page is also an example of how the side panels and their advertisements remain the same for each page a person visits.

Whether one arrives to Dupont Circle by way of the infamous Metro Rail, the ubiquitous taxi cabs and cars, the convenient bike, or by foot, the passerby is certain to see a bunch of narrow shops, bars, and eateries that inhabit structures which resemble three- story rowhomes. If a person dares to look closer, they may see the common nail salon or spa, but with an even closer look, the misfit companies will appear. At that third glance, the visitor will discover The Dupont Circle Club, a non-profit organization that offers a variety of recovery groups, located at 1623 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC. As a visitor, it was not until my third glance that I found the club. I had passed it twice because it was hidden between Lou Lou Boutique and  Comfort One Shoes. side-walkThe name advertised in lights above the door read “Psychic Readings,” and  taped to the center of the door was a regular sized piece of paper that read “Dupont Circle Club.” I entered, but was faced with another obstacle: a locked door with a keypad that connected to the club and the psychic which I had to use to be buzzed in. I entered, and as I walked up the house-like stairs, my mind immediately began to question why this place was so difficult to find and enter. Before I describe the interior of the Dupont Circle Club, I will provide historical information that answers my speculations about the location of the club.

Background Information on the Dupont Circle Club  

According to Dupont Circle Club’s website where the organization advertises its non-profit organization, the recovery center was even more hidden in 1989 when they first opened the club in a building located in the alley behind their current location. Due to the lack of lighting and the high population of rats, the alley won the name “Flat Rat Alley”, and the owner of the 1623 Connecticut Ave location offered the club his spot. Therefore, the Dupont Circle Club ended up in this hidden location by coincidence. This location was never actually meant to be hidden, for in the 1960s the location was inhabited by a ritzy store called French Poodle which sold fur coats and constantly advertised itself in the local Washington Evening Star Newspaper (Washington Evening Star 1964). The same place was  previously a funeral home named W.R Speare Co. in the mid 1920s (Washington Evening Star 1926).

The Interior

After climbing the stairs, I finally entered the club and was greeted by the yellow paint of the walls and the lobby. The lobby consist of a $1 coffee/tea station, numerous ads for upcoming events at the club, pictures of people who went through one of the recovery clubs, and pamphlets for every recovery program offered. To the left and right of the greeting area were two identical rooms. Bbid-bocoth were rectangular rooms with at least two windows, one bathroom, many rows of cushioned blue chairs, indoor plants, a fireplace, and multiple inspirational pictures and sayings. The room to the right hosted the alcoholics anonymous meetings, and the room to the left held the narcotics anonymous meetings. The layout was simple and easy to navigate. Although the chairs occupied much of the room, the area incorporated walking space which prohibited the empty room from feeling congested. However, as more people started to flood in at the start of the meeting, the space began to feel smaller and less comfortable. Concurrently,  the lighting, windows, and inspirational messages created a welcoming feeling; I felt like I was at church, not a recovery center. Perhaps it was the alcoholics anonymous book that resembled the Bible and laid across each chair, the small piece of stained glass hanging from the window, or the blinding sun that projected this feeling of home and love often evident  in churches.

bid-12stepsThe feeling of welcomeness continued as the recovering alcoholics began to arrive to their 4pm meeting. The people were very nice; they awaited newcomers with open arms, and offered me to stay to listen to their stories. The meeting was filled with about 35 people and the session began with a group recitation of “The Twelve Steps” recoverers must follow. Individuals then read from the Alcoholics Anonymous book, and introduced themselves as the typical movie depicts: “Hello. My name is ___ and I am an alcoholic.” After, people told stories about their personal fight against alcoholism. As people spoke, I heard claps, snaps, and “amens,” and saw the nodding of heads in agreement. The class then ended with a group prayer which was also recited by all 35 members.

 

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-8-19-34-pmOverall, the interior space is one of great contrast. It is assumed that the alcoholics that have faced tragedies would carry a cloud of depression and feel reluctant to attend these meetings, but these people embody immense happiness and express their appreciation for The Dupont Circle Club. One man shared how he his addiction had caused him to hurt his family many times, but he felt grateful to be in the place he was today. The second contrast involves the location of the club. If one follows the stairs to the third story, he or she will find themselves at the psychic reading which opposes the religious practices of the recovery center. Lastly, Dupont Circle Club lies amongst so many bars and fancy restaurants that sell wine, for there are about 20 bars that appear on google maps in Dupont. Addicts are constantly faced with temptation verses self betterment. However, these opposites fit perfectly for a neighborhood that is both high class and urban with a high number of homeless people outside of top businesses and high end stores.

wall decor that acts as inspiration

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Works Cited 

“Deaths.” Washington Evening Star. March 9, 1926.

History, Dupont Circle Club. 2016 http://www.dupontcircleclub.com/about/history/

“Why You Can Buy A Luxurious Prestige.” Washington Evening Star. March 26, 1964.

 


Digital Archives

bid-psyInterior Description: Digital Record 1
Here is the outside view of Dupont Circle Club. The most advertised parts of the door is the address number and the “Psychic Readings” sign. The Dupont Circle Club sign is on the center of the door and on a laminated piece of paper. At the bottom of the door is another sign advertising Sherpa Prep. The door focuses on the psychic readings, causing people to overlook the help center.

 

 

 

 

 


Interior Description: Digital Record 2

bid-bocThese blue chairs take up the majority of the space in both rooms. The chairs are set up in rows, and face the center of the room. Therefore, everyone can see each other and the main leader of the sessions who sits in the center of the room. On each chair is the blue Alcoholics Anonymous books which the members read before their session, then discuss in class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Interior Description: Digital Record 3

This is one of the many encouraging pieces that hang upon the walls. This picture incorporates the aspects of Christianity that Dupont Circle Club practices. The quote also inspires hope to these people who have been throughbid-church hard times and inspires them to keep going by saying, “grant me the serenity to accept the things Icannot change.” The pretty flowers and decoration of the picture also adds to the light and positive feeling the club tries to create.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Interior Description: Digital Record 4

bid-12stepsThe room is filled with long white posters which each have different rules, traditions and steps of the recovery process. Here, is the Twelve Steps that recoverers have to follow in the recovery process. These steps are read at the beginning of each session as a reminder of how members should behave and what action they will take in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Interior Description: Digital Record 5

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-8-19-34-pmHere is a screenshot of a google map of all the bars in Dupont Circle. In such a small area, there are around 20 bars within The Dupont Circle Club where most members struggle with alcohol addiction. An attendee of the meeting recalled how she used to bar hop daily in Dupont Circle, so all the bars knew her name.

 

 

 

Dupont Circle is a park, neighborhood, historic attraction and a traffic circle designed by the architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant in 1791. The circle intersects the Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire Avenues, aldupont-statueong with Nineteenth Street and P Street. The area where Dupont Circle lies today was originally named Pacific Circle until 1884 when a statue of Francis DuPont, a Civil War Naval hero, arrived in the center of the circle (Williams 7). Concurrently, Dupont transformed from a wooded and uncultivated area with large country estates, to a luxurious place where the wealthy, influential and people of high political standing subsided and spent their days shopping in their equally high class stores (Williams 9). Although many of the estates were transformed into office buildings, small shops and row homes, the high class feeling still persists in Dupont Circle today.

 

The first thing I noticed as I arrived to Dupont Circle was how eager Dupont was to have visitors. Although Dupont was originally a residential neighborhood, the plethora of shops and restaurants make the area seem like a tourist attraction. The neighborhood is incredibly accessible with its Metro system which was constructed in Dupont in the 1970s (Williams 9). Dupont’s circular design makes it very easy for a newcomer such as myself to visit any of the five intersecting streets and avenues. I walked out of the metro station, and simply loftfollowed the circle until I reached Connecticut Avenue where the Dupont Circle Club is located. As I walked around the circle, I saw many different types of people. There were business people dressed in suits, homeless people begging for money, families with little kids in strollers and people sitting at outdoor eateries. Amongst the congestion of people were high end shops such as Lou Lou Boutiques, Blue Mercury, Loft and plenty of other expensive stores along with a line of restaurants which all offer outdoor seating and happy hours. Dupont appeals to all economic classes with cheaper fast food options amongst bars and restaurants. As I walked to the AA club, I saw Subway, Smoothie King, Chipotle, and Starbucks. Roaming the streets, I heard the conversations of the people sitting at outdoor restaurants and smelt the delicious sweets from places like Larry’s Ice Cream and Cupcakes. Dupont is a place of convenience with a 7- Eleven, Walgreens and CVS for people to quickly stop in to grab whatever they need before they continue exploring Dupont or on their way to work.   

     

Dupont Circle is a place filled with lots of contrast. “Homeless” people are intertwined with the wealthy, and a family parside-walkk lies among business buildings. The contrast continues with the way the space in Dupont is utilized. The area appears large and spacious because the streets are wide with plenty of lanes and a big circle, but the sidewalks are crammed. The sidewalk is not big enough to accompany the stores, the pedestrians, the bicyclist and the homeless who sit on the sidewalks. While walking, I tried to avoid bumping into people besides me. As I looked towards the street, I realizetrafficd that the traffic was also congested. There were at least four lanes all going in the same direction, but traffic still seemed chaotic; I felt like I was back home, looking at Center City Philadelphia traffic during rush hour. The line of empty parked cars and bikes also reminded me of Philly with these roadside obstacles that make the street harder to navigate. As a newcomer, the chaos on the sidewalk and on the streets overwhelmed me, but as I looked pass the traffic, I enjoyed the site of the architecture and felt calm again.

 

Though Dupont Circle possesses qualities of an urban center, its architectural environment creates a ritzy area. As I looked to the other side of the street, I saw auburn, tan, brown, white and blue buildings with intricate architectural designs. These structures were unique with rigid recalming-buildingsctangular and triangular designs and appear to have been homes in their past life. Outside of these shops were little trees and strings of yellow lights which added to the jovial feeling. The outside of these buildings were very unique with rigid rectangular and triangular structures. The architectural detail of the buildings and the environment contributes to this high class feeling. Overall Dupont Circle is a busy and urban environment that appeals to various types of people based on its diversity of shops, attractions and people.

 

                                             

 Work Cited

Williams, Paul. Images of America: Dupont Circle. Arcadia Publishing, 2000

 

 


Digital Archives 

Exterior Built Environment: Digital Record 1

dupont-statueThis 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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exterior Built Environment: Digital Record 2

loftThis 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exterior Built Environment: Digital Record 3

side-walkThis 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.

 

 

 


Exterior Built Environment: Digital Record 4

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-4-21-07-pmHere 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exterior Built Environment: Digital Record 5

calming-buildingsMany 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 rowhomes. Also, the trees and lights in front of the stores give that peaceful and ritzy feeling.