DC -- Georgetown neighborhood:
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- GTOWN_170627_60.JPG: This used to be a LukOil station among other brands
- Wikipedia Description: Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Georgetown is a neighborhood located in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., along the Potomac River waterfront. Founded in 1751, the city of Georgetown substantially predated the establishment of the city of Washington and the District of Columbia. By 1776, Georgetown was one of the largest cities in Maryland, and retained its separate municipal status until 1871, when it was annexed by the City of Washington. Today, the primary commercial corridors of Georgetown are M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, which contain high-end shops, bars, and restaurants. Georgetown is home to the main campus of Georgetown University, as well as the embassies of France, Mongolia, Sweden, Thailand, and Ukraine.
First settled by Europeans in 1696, Georgetown was incorporated as a town and first regularly settled in 1751, when the area was part of the British colony of the Province of Maryland (initially in Frederick County and later in Montgomery County), later one of the 13 colonies. Situated on the fall line, Georgetown was the farthest point upstream to which oceangoing boats could navigate the Potomac River. It grew into a thriving port and became a key point for transferring goods, particularly tobacco, from boats on the Potomac to boats on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
Origin of the name:
Georgetown was founded in 1751 during the reign of George II of Great Britain in Frederick County, Maryland (in a section later to become Montgomery County) by George Beall and George Gordon as the Town of George. Given the curious coincidence of the both of the founders' first names and that of the English king at the time, historians dispute the source of the name of the town: One theory suggests that it was designated to honor King George II, while another argues that it was named for its founders.
George Washington frequented Suter's Tavern in Georgetown, and worked out many land deals from there to acquire land for the Federal City. In the 1790s, City Tavern, the Union Tavern, and the Columbian Inn opened and were popular throughout the 19th century. Of these taverns, only the City Tavern remains today, as a private social club located near the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street.
The home of Francis Scott Key was in Georgetown. Dr. William Beanes, a relative of Key, captured the rear guard of the British Army while it was burning Washington during the War of 1812. When the mass of the army retreated, they retrieved their imprisoned guard and took Dr. Beanes as a captive to their fleet near Baltimore. Key went to the fleet to request the release of Beanes, was held until the bombardment of Fort McHenry was completed, and gained the inspiration for "The Star-Spangled Banner".
Merger with Washington:
After the American Revolution, Georgetown became an independent municipal government of the federal District of Columbia, along with the City of Washington, the City of Alexandria, and the newly created County of Washington and County of Alexandria (now Arlington County, Virginia). It was officially known as "Georgetown, D.C."
In 1862, the Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company began a horsecar line running along M Street in Georgetown and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, further integrating the two cities.
Georgetown was not formally annexed by the City of Washington until 1871, and remained nominally separate until 1895. The streets in Georgetown were then renamed to conform to the street names in use in Washington.
Many African Americans moved to Georgetown following the Civil War, establishing a thriving community, but an 1890 flood and expansion of the railroads brought destitution to the C&O Canal, and Georgetown became a depressed slum. As a result, many older homes were preserved relatively unchanged. Alexander Graham Bell's earliest switching office for the Bell System was located on a site just below the C&O Canal, and it remains in use as a phone facility to this day.
The waterfront area retained its industrial character in the first half of the 20th century. Georgetown was home to a lumber yard, a cement works, the Washington Flour mill, and a meat rendering plant, and its skyline was dominated by the smokestacks of a garbage incinerator and the twin stacks of the power generating plant for the D.C. Transit streetcar system, located at the foot of Wisconsin Avenue. In 1949, the city constructed the Whitehurst Freeway, an elevated highway above K Street, to allow motorists entering the District over the Key Bridge to bypass Georgetown entirely on their way downtown.
As the only existing town at the time, Georgetown was the fashion and cultural center of the newly-formed District of Columbia. As Washington grew, however, the center of social Washington moved east across Rock Creek to the new Victorian homes that sprang up around the city's traffic circles, and to the Gilded Age mansions along Massachusetts Avenue. While many "old families" stayed on in Georgetown, the neighborhood's population became poorer and more racially diverse by the early 20th century. Its demographics started to shift again when gentrification began during the 1930s, as a number of members of the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved into the area. By the 1950s, a wave of new post-war residents arrived. Many of these new residents were well-educated, from elite backgrounds and they took a keen interest in the neighborhood's historic nature. At about the same time, the Citizens Association of Georgetown was formed.
The area reached the height of fashionability when Georgetown resident John F. Kennedy was elected president. Kennedy lived in Georgetown in the 1950s as both a Congressman and a Senator. Parties hosted by his wife, Jackie, and many other Georgetown hostesses drew political elites away from downtown clubs and hotels or the upper 16th Street corridor. Kennedy went to his presidential inauguration from his townhouse at 3307 N Street in January 1961. By the late 1960s and 1970s the neighborhood was in decline and was known mostly as a popular venue for hippies and street people. During the 1980s and the 1990s Georgetown was revitalized and once again acquired a reputation as a center of wealth and style in the capital. Today Georgetown is one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Washington DC and home to many of the city's politicians and lobbyists.
Many leading figures in politics, media, and commerce reside in this upper-bracket community. Current inhabitants include Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, past Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee, Washington Post Watergate reporter and current assistant managing editor Bob Woodward, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, and Montana Senator Max Baucus, among others. High-end developments and gentrification have revitalized Georgetown's formerly blighted industrial waterfront. The District's old refuse incinerator and smokestack, preserved for years as an abandoned but historic landmark, was redeveloped in 2003 to become the most pronounced feature of a new Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The Whitehurst Freeway has been proposed for demolition.
Several movies have been filmed in Georgetown, including 1973 horror film The Exorcist, which was set in the neighborhood and partially filmed there. In the movie's climactic scene, the protagonist is hurled down the 75-step staircase at 36th Street, N.W., which connects Prospect Street with M Street below. The staircase has come to be known as the "Exorcist Steps".
The 1985 Brat Pack film St. Elmo's Fire was set in Georgetown, though the campus fraternity row portions were filmed at the University of Maryland campus in College Park. (Like most Jesuit colleges, Georgetown University does not recognize fraternities or sororities, though several exist.) The 1987 film No Way Out featured a Georgetown Metro stop as a plot device, even though no such station exists; the subway station shots were filmed in Baltimore, Maryland. Chase scenes for the film were shot on the Whitehurst Freeway. Other films with memorable scenes in Georgetown are Chances Are, The Recruit, The Girl Next Door, The Man with One Red Shoe, Dave, and Election. The West Wing shot a scene in which the president's daughter was kidnapped in a night club on K Street, NW, beneath the Whitehurst Freeway.
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