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Sixteenth Street by another name | by rockcreek
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Sixteenth Street by another name

What may be the last surviving artifact of Sixteenth Street's stint as the "Avenue of the Presidents" in 1913-1914, from the collection of the D.C. Public Library.


The 2/19/57 "Washington Star" reports:


A reminder of a year of confusion will soon go on display at the Mt. Pleasant branch of the District Public Library.


It is a street marker - a glass panel with fancy red lettering reading "Avenue of the Presidents," the official designation of Sixteenth Street for about a year in 1913-1914.


It is a gift to the library from Roland M. Brennan, former purchasing officer for the District. The marker is one of two samples made before the temporary permanent markers were put up. Those finally hung along Sixteenth Street were of the same size and type, but the lettering was blue.


As far as Mr. Brennan knows, only two of the markers still exist. The other was the property of the late Earl Godwin, and hung in the newscaster's Virginia home.


Congress approved the "Avenue of the Presidents" name March 4, 1913. Then the confusion began.


Sixteenth Street residents had to buy new stationary. The District surveyor had to alter his maps and plats. The Post Office was officially notified. All the old signs had to come down and the new ones put up.


The name was not popular. The following year Congress ruled, "Hereafter the street shall be known and designated as 'Sixteenth Street' in accordance with the original plans of the City of Washington."


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Uploaded on July 7, 2007