Shaw Commemorates Carter G. Woodson’s Birthday

Shaw Streets

Events DC CEO Angie Gates offers her finger as a perch for a magician’s dove at the Winter Wonderland event. Photo by Alexander Padro

The National Park Service (NPS) and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) celebrated the 147th birthday of one of Shaw’s most famous past residents, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, on Saturday afternoon, December 17.

Their annual commemoration was special this year since 2022 was the 100th anniversary of Dr. Woodson’s purchase of the home on Ninth Street that served as the headquarters of ASLAH and Associated Publishers, which was the center of his work spreading the word on Afro-American history.

Held within the original boundaries of the Shaw neighborhood at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School, where Woodson was a teacher, the event featured a panel discussion on Dr. Woodson’s impact on education. Entertainment was provided by singers from Dunbar and the Kiamsha Youth Empowerment Organization, along with jazz performed by the DC Strings.

At the end of the program, NPS Ranger Vince Vaise outlined how the third and final phase of the establishment of the Woodson Home National Historic Site will be completed by the fall of 2023. The site will include the original Woodson home, plus two adjoining row homes. A full exhibition outlining Dr. Woodson’s work and the accolades he received during his life will be a highlight.

Dr. Woodson’s office will be reconstructed and renovated to serve as a major focus of the historic home. The completed site will also have space for NPS to manage the site, as well as serving as the headquarters of ASALH, the organization Dr. Woodson formed. The NPS will also sponsor tours of the Woodson site as early as February 2023, including a walking tour with a Woodson reenactor and a Shaw historian, Alexander Padro, to give an idea of the environment that Dr. Woodson lived and worked in.

The view from the Parcel 42 building, to be completed in 2023. Photo by Alexander Padro

LGBTQ+ Center Moves to Shaw

For a number of years, Shaw was considered the District’s Gayborhood. But after redevelopment pushed out the Town Danceboutique, Shaw’s gay luster started to diminish. That may change with the announcement that the DC Center for the LGBT Community and the Capital Pride Alliance will move their headquarters to 1827 Wiltberger St. NW. The move was supported by a $1 million grant from the DC Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

The new center will be larger than their former space and will allow other LGBT groups to sublease space there, with the Wanda Alston Foundation, Rainbow Families and G3 already on board. There will be an expansion of services at the new center, including dedicated therapy rooms, a larger food pantry, dedicated wellness spaces, an expanded state-of-the-art cyber lounge and a larger Community Closet for underhoused/displaced community members. The new center will be completed by mid-2023.

Events DC Holds Winter Wonderland

Events DC held their annual Winter Wonderland celebration for the holidays on Saturday, December 17 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The event has been held since 1998, but this year marked the return of in-person festivities following the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of children and their families from the neighborhood surrounding the convention center were treated to free refreshments, prize drawings, and activities like face painting, pictures with Santa Claus and costumed holiday characters and performances by a strolling magician. Each pre-registered child also got an age and gender appropriate present from Events DC before they left.

Parcel 42 Building Celebrates Topping Off

Dantes Partners and Davis Construction celebrated the topping off of their project on Parcel 42 (1707 Seventh Street NW) December 14. Construction workers and guests took time off to enjoy a catered lunch during the event. When the building is finished in the fourth quarter of 2023, it will have 110 units of luxury affordable housing, with 108 of the units being restricted to lower income tenants.  There will also be 1,800 square feet of retail on the Seventh Street side of the building.

Brent Kroll opens Pop bar on Vermont Avenue. Photo by Pleasant Mann

Shaw is Still the Place to Come to Eat, Drink and be Merry

Brent Kroll, the mind behind Shaw’s elevated wine bar Maxwell Park, has opened a new bar called Pop (2108 Vermont Avenue NW). Pop is a “fizz bar” devoted to high class bubbly wines and exotic canned cocktails. There is also an adventurous food menu, including fried half chicken with nuoc cham sauce and a Pop Burger with curly fries and animal sauce. Coming soon is Gramophone (647 Florida Avenue NW), a new two-level lounge that focuses on Disco, Lounge and Disco House music.

Other Shaw establishments have gotten attention recently. Doro Soul Food (1819 Seventh Street NW) was declared one of the nation’s Most Exciting New Restaurants in the November Bon Appetit magazine. They concluded that chef Elias Taddesse brings together “his Ethiopian heritage, his love for American soul food and his fine dining background all through the vehicle of fried chicken.” Virginia Senator Mark Warner decided to hold another Bipartisan Italian Dinner at Shaw’s San Lorenzo restaurant on December 14. This year, the group, made up of 10 moderate Democratic and Republican senators, had to brave the security barriers and checkpoints surrounding the U.S.-African Leaders Summit locking down the neighborhood.