March 16, 2010

LeDroit Park c. 1941

A few months ago we found this old photo at the Washingtoniana Division of the MLK Library.  The photo is an aerial view looking westward on the north end of LeDroit Park.  Griffith Stadium, now the site of Howard University Hospital, rests in the background; the stadium was demolished in 1965.  To its right (north) is the location to which the Freedman’s Hospital moved in 1869.  One will also notice that rowhouses stood on what is now the Gage-Eckington site.  Looking closely between V and W Streets, one will see that the Kelly Miller public housing apartments appear to be under construction, dating this photo to around 1941.

(If you’d like to zoom on the photo below, download it as a PDF)

We also found a Washington Senators fan site with a 1960 photo of the stadium in the midst of a game.

Categories: History
Tags: , ,

4 Replies

  1. What a cool find. I wish the photo was just a 1/4 of a mile more to the east, then I could see my residence! It is interesting to see what the area used to look like.

    Although stadiums are massive these days and probably would have transformed leDroit park for the worst (i.e. converted many of the homes in to sports bars or demolished altogether), it would have been cool to walk to games from my house. What I would give to just live one day back them to attend a summer afternoon game and watch the Senators take on the Yankees/Tigers/A’s etc…

    Cities no longer perserve old baseball stadiums (Tiger stadium closed in 1999 and just recently was demolished) despite their historic significance, it would have been cool if they kept Griffith stadium to use as a DC community park or maybe host Little League or exhibition games.

    Flagler Pl NW - March 16, 2010 @ 8:27 am
  2. One more note, the longest home run to be hit in baseball was by Mikey Mantle at Griffith Stadium.

    Flagler Pl NW - March 16, 2010 @ 8:38 am
  3. as a native Michigander, i have to take exception to the idea that Detroit should have preserved Tiger Stadium. to what use can you put a 100+ year old stadium and have it come close to breaking even? its only use is as a sports venue, but rehabbing it would cost nearly as much as it did to build Comerica Park. scrapping and razing it was the right choice. yes it is sad to see such history lost, but stadiums are massive and next to impossible to retool for another use. i still think that the site should go back to its use before Bennet, Navin, and Tiger Stadium: Western Market.

    back closer to LeDroit, it is cool to see these historic images and as much as things changed, they’re still very much the same with the character of the neighborhood much as it was in this photo. it is interesting to ponder how the neighborhood may have evolved had the stadium remained in that location. i suspect that LeDroit would have become like Wrigleyville with a character more like the DuPont circle area.

    dano - March 16, 2010 @ 9:09 am
  4. I agree, it would have been costly to perserve Tiger Stadium, seeing as the city is having issue perserving the city in general and has more immediate needs to address. I grew up attending Tigers games and will always miss the time spent there.

    LeDroit park would probably have become like Wrigleyville… It was considered a small stadium back in the day…so I imagine it would have expanded at some point. From what I have learned about the stadium in general, it was never a “great” stadium by any means and renovations/expansions were completed on the fly and on a penny tight budget that didn’t really enhance the stadium experience for the public. With the way sports is today, there is most likely no way the stadium would still be standing…

    Flagler Pl NW - March 16, 2010 @ 9:45 am

Leave a comment