The Culture of DuPont Architecture

Background:

Black Cat Nightclub: History. http://www.blackcatdc.com/history.html. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

In the historical background tab of the Black Cat Nightclub website, the author provides the foundation for the venue’s existence. Specifically, the area located in the “U Street corridor” was suffering from a lack of “good concert venues.” The owners, former DC band Grey Matter, solved their problem by converting a former jazz venue located in the Dupont area into a revived stage for their music genre. While the scarcity of existing venues could have served as a warning to new investors, the Black Cat experienced overwhelming success in their converted space. However, popularity within the DC community forced relocation to where they are situated today: “three doors down the street.”

I plan to use this source as a way to illustrate the change in the neighborhood not by outside forces, but by the citizens of the area. I agree with the founders that this was both an intelligent business move and formative for the surrounding community. The lack of true “district” culture expressed in the article are truly what the residents felt and provided a niche for the venue. Additionally, the neighborhood and city has grown to love the small venue because of its roots being entirely in DC rather that an invasive transplant from another area.

 

Exhibit:

                           “Wardman Row Preservation.” NPS Gallery, National Park Service , npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset?assetID=97317899-87e0-43c3-ae45-e704bbb7a757. Accessed 9 Apr. 2017.                         

The collection of photos depicting Wardman Row compiled by the D.C. Historic Preservation Office are used to illustrate a series of buildings designed by Harry Wardman. Wardman was one of the city’s most influential architects who had a hand in the construction of many DC homes in NW during the early twentieth century. While many of the buildings were replaced over the years, the city’s preservation office took it upon themselves to save the last of these historical homes.

This source serves as an opportunity to see directly the historical significance of the small section of DC.  The course of action taken by these organizers of the D.C. Historic Preservation Office and other groups like the national park service. These buildings are pieces of the history of the city and while some argue that expansion is necessary, the National Park Service has identified Wardman’s contributions as vital to the Washington’s architectural heritage. Parts of the past must be preserved to create continuity between generations and centuries.

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