DC -- True Reformer Bldg (incl Duke Ellington mural by G. Byron Peck):
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Description of Subject Matter: The True Reformer Building is an architectural testament to black economic achievement. Completed in 1903, True Reformer Hall became a U Street landmark. The building was conceived, built, designed, and patronized by African Americans. John A. Lankford was the architect. Recently renovated, it is now the headquarters of the Public Welfare Foundation. The African American Civil War Memorial Museum offices are also here, and G. Byron Peck's iconic mural of Duke Ellington is mounted on the side of the building overlooking the U St./African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metro station.
The True Reformer Building was the work of the Grand United Order of True Reformers, a benevolent society based in Richmond, Virginia. The organization provided insurance and banking services. They hired Lankford, believed to be the first black registered architect in the city, when he was 28 years old. During the building of the hall, Lankford had an office one block away. He later moved a few blocks away to 1448 Q Street, NW.
The hall housed the offices of the True Reformers in addition to conference rooms, a concert hall, and street-level businesses. In his autobiography, Duke Ellington wrote that he had his first paid performance in room number five, for which he charged a cover of five cents per person. Gray and Gray druggists, the Silver Slipper Club, and Chapman's Tailoring and Designing School all operated here. The building also housed the armory for the First Separate Batalion of the National Guard.
The building was purchased by the Knights of Pythias in 1917. In the 1940s the Metropolitan Boys Club occupied the building. By the 1970s, the Dupont Paint company was the only occupant in the building.
The True Reformer Building was placed on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites in 1987 and on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Bigger photos? To save space on the server and because the modern camera images are so large, photos larger than 640x480 have not been loaded on this page. If you need the bigger sizes of selected photos, email me and I can email them back to you or I can re-load this page temporarily with the bigger versions restored.
2019 photos: Equipment this year: I continued to use my Fuji XS-1 cameras but, depending on the event, I also used a Nikon D7000.
Trips this year:
(May/June) a two-day jaunt to New York City for my 62nd birthday,
(July) two-weeks out west for San Diego Comic-Con and sites in Utah,
(August) a four-day jaunt to Massachusetts to experience rain in another state,
(August) a three-day trip to Asheville, NC to visit Dad and his wife Dixie,
(August) another two-day jaunt to New York City (United Nations, Flushing),
(October) a three-day jaunt to New York City (New York Comic-Con).
That's it so far!
Partially Reviewed: Rough draft. I've gone through these pictures once, removing the worst ones, some duplication, etc. I usually take sequences of 4 or 5 pictures at a time and there are lots of near duplicates. I'll be doing a final review later which will cull the pictures down some. To be honest though, I'm way behind on doing final reviews.