Columbia Heights Heritage Trail
2 Amusement Palace
The intersection of 14th Street and Park Road has been the center of community life since at least 1871, when the neighborhood was called Mount Pleasant and storekeeper George Emery made his living on the northwest corner to your left. Emery's emporium, the first on upper 14th Street, marked the end of the line for the horse-drawn omnibus (coach) that carried residents to the Treasury and other points downtown. "Its stock ranged all the way from mowing machines to dry goods," wrote Emery's son Fred.
In 1892 the Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company began running electric streetcars up 14th Street to your left. After the line was extended in 1907, investors, including gramophone inventor and neighbor Emile Berliner, transformed the car barn into the Arcade, a combination market and amusement park.
Best known for its street-level vendor stalls, the Arcade over time boasted a movie theater, sports arena, bowling alleys, skating rink, and dance hall upstairs, not to mention carnival fun in the Japanese Maze and the House of Trouble. "The big Arcade building was crowded from end to end with one of the happiest throngs imaginable," wrote the Washington Post about opening night.
In November 1925 the newly organized American Basketball Association inducted DC's Palace Five. The Five (also called the "Laundrymen" for their first sponsor, Palace Laundry) played their first home-court Big League game at the Arcade. Some 2,500 fans watched them beat the Brooklyn Five, 18 to 17.