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LeDroit Park



LeDroit Park is a neighborhood in Washington, D.C. located immediately southeast of Howard University. Its borders include W Street to the north, Rhode Island Avenue and Florida Avenue to the south, Second Street NW to the east, and Howard University to the west. LeDroit Park is known for its history and 19th century protected architecture.

The neighborhood was founded in 1873 by Amzi Barber, a businessman who served on the board of trustees of neighboring Howard University. Barber named the neighborhood after his father-in-law, LeDroict Langdon, but dropped the ⟨c⟩.

One of LeDroit’s most recognizable features is its Victorian mansions, houses and row-houses, designed by architect James McGill. None of the original 64 homes McGill designed in LeDroit Park were identical [3] and most were built between 1873 and 1877.[4] Today, 50 of the original homes remain. McGill was also a member of the LeDroit Park Property Owners Association, a precursor to the LeDroit Park Civic Association, which is active today. LeDroit’s protected housing stock includes 12 different styles of homes.

Ledroit Park includes Anna J. Cooper Circle, named for the education pioneer.

Ledroit Park residents have included:

  • General William Birney – Civil War Veteran owned the stately mansion on Anna J. Cooper Circle. (T & Second Street)
  • Senator Edward Brooke – First African American to win the senate seat by popular vote, was born in this house in 1919. (1938 Third Street)
  • Dr. Ralph J. Bunche – The first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace prize for his mediation in Palestine; resided in LeDroit Park during his professorship at Howard University. — (No address found)
  • General Benjamin O. Davis Sr. – The first African American general, commander of the World War II Tuskegee airman. (No address found)
  • Hon. Oscar De Priest – First Black Congressmen since reconstruction, lived here for his three terms in office. (419 U Street)
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar – Black Poet Laureate & Howard University Alumnus. (321 U Street)
  • Duke Ellington – jazz legend, lived in the neighborhood with his family during his early childhood. (420 Elm Street)
  • Major Christian Fleetwood – One of the first Blacks to be awarded the Medal of Honor. (319 U Street)
  • Julia West Hamilton – Civic leader and member of N.A.C.W. (320 U Street)
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson – Civil rights activist credited with starting the Rainbow/PUSH coalition. (Corner of Fourth & T Streets)
  • Ernest Everett Just – Professor in Biology, researcher in Biogenetics with significant contributions to Zoology and Biogenetics. (No address found)
  • Dr. Jesse Lawson and Dr. Anna J. Cooper – Both prominent educators who founded Frelinghuysen University to educate Blacks working-class adults. Lawson also was a Lawyer (Howard University Law, 1881) who advocated for the rights of poor D.C. residents. (201 T Street)
  • Willis Richards – Prominent playwright credited with having the first serious play to be performed on Broadway. (512 U Street)
  • Mary Church Terrell – Heiress and activist for civil rights and woman’s suffrage. (326 T Street, National Historic Landmark)
  • Walter Washington – the first mayor of DC elected under home rule (408 T Street)
  • Clarence Cameron White – A Prominent Violinist educator in fine arts and Howard Alumni (No address found)
  • Dr. Garnet C. Wilkinson – Superintendent of Colored Schools during segregation. (406 U Street)
  • Octavius Augustus Williams – U.S. Capitol Barber and first Black to integrate LeDroit Park (338 U Street)

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