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Rhodes Tavern

This marker memorializes the old Rhodes Tavern, scene of many historic events. The tavern opened in 1799 and served as a tavern, "town hall", polling place, boarding house, bank, stock exchange, and the headquarters of the National Press Club. According to the plaque, it was "witness to every inaugural parade from Thomas Jefferson's in 1801 to Ronald Reagan's in 1981."


The Washington Post said in 1980: "The 180-year-old tavern, the birthplace of the Riggs National Bank and the National Press Club, was the dining spot of British soldiers who watched the White House burn in 1814 from the tavern's third-story windows."


Sadly, it was located on prime real estate, less than a block from the White House and was purchased by a local developer who intended to tear it down to build new offices and retail shops. An initiative was passed by the citizens of Washington to preserve the building in 1983 but the developer had the building razed one night in 1984 when no one was around to stop him.


The marker was placed by the Rhodes Tavern-DC Heritage Society in 1999 and was funded to a great extent by pennies collected by DC school children.


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Taken on January 21, 2006