DC -- Mt Pleasant -- Lamont Plaza:
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- LAMONT_091129_01.JPG: (Stop 15) Streetcar Suburb
Lamont and Mt. Pleasant Streets NW
Lamont Park, across from the number 42 bus stop, was once the turnaround for the numbers 40 and 42 streetcars. Back in the 1940s, "when the conductor called ‘end of the line,' passengers stepped out onto a yellow wooden platform," recalled former resident Elizabeth Slattery Clare. "Then, to turn around, the car proceeded slowly through a small park that we called ‘the loop.'"
Starting in the 1870s, a horse-drawn streetcar carried villagers downtown from Mount Pleasant's first commercial center, 14th Street and Park Road. In 1903 an electric streetcar line opened on Mt. Pleasant Street, spurring another commercial center and denser residential development. Soon this part of Mount Pleasant transformed from village to suburban neighborhood. In 1961 residents mourned the streetcars' replacement by buses.
Elizabeth Walbridge, an heir to the old Ingleside Estate on Newton Street, owned property here when the streetcars arrived. She did well selling building lots. Architect Glenn Brown, a planner of Rock Creek Park, designed 1711–1713 Lamont with their unusual Potomac bluestone pillars, as well as 1715 –1717. Walbridge and her family lived in 1717.
Some neighborhood businesses came under assault here in April 1968, when rioting broke out around Washington in response to the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Nearby 14th Street suffered the heaviest damage, but looters hit a few shops here too.
Over the succeeding decades, Lamont Park attracted illegal activity. In the early 1990s residents persuaded the city to restore it as a family-friendly, outdoor community center.
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