DC -- Bloomingdale -- Crispus Attucks Park:
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- CRISP_200513_05.JPG: Public Health Emergency
Required Social Distancing in Crispus Attucks Park
- Wikipedia Description: Bloomingdale (Washington, D.C.)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Crispus Attucks Park
Bloomingdale has its own community-managed and community-owned greenspace, Crispus Attucks Park. The acre-and-a-quarter park, in the court bounded by First, U, V, and North Capitol streets NW, was previously the site of a warehouse built in 1910 and used as a telephone-switching station and cable yard for the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company.
Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company stopped using the property in 1974 and tried to sell it, but no one wanted to buy it, largely because the only access was by way of an alley off of V Street NW. In 1976, a neighborhood organization, V Street Block Club, approached the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company to donate the property. The neighborhood organization asked the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company to use the warehouse to teach children to play music in the warehouse. Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company said it would prefer to donate the property to the government of the District of Columbia, which would then donate the property to the neighborhood organization. The District government declined the offer, because it did not have the funds to renovate the building, and nothing happened for a few months. In December 1976, Hyman Construction Company learned about the issue, and it agreed to renovate the warehouse, Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company agreed to donate the land and the warehouse to a newly incorporated neighborhood organization, then called NUV-1, an acronym for each street that surrounds the property.
Hyman Construction Company paid its employees to renovate the warehouse, and employees of a few other construction companies donated their time as well. National Capital United Presbytery donated $7,500, and architect Ward Bucher donated his time to create the plans. Renovation began in July 1977, and the building officially opened as a neighborhood arts center on April 2, 1978.
The neighborhood arts center offered photography, martial arts, and bicycle-repair classes, lectures, musical events, dances, and day-care. In 1987, the District government reduced funding through the Recreation Department, and the six of the center's eight staff members were let go, significantly reducing the activities at the center.
The neighborhood organization became the Crispus Attucks Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The park is named after Crispus Attucks, an African American who was killed in the Boston Massacre and is often regarded as the first person killed in the American Revolution. Crispus Attucks Park is privately owned and open to the public. It is maintained through charitable donations and volunteer labor coordinated by the Crispus Attucks Development Corporation.
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