Historic Tenleytown - Subdivisions and Neighborhoods


Programs and events celebrating people, places and events of both local and citywide interest are planned from time to time. Tenleytown Historical Society often joins with other local groups in sponsoring programs. NOTE: Our program offerings are currently limited as our local library is closed for rebuilding, and alternative space is scarce.

Tenleytown Walking Tour (April)
Tenleytown Historical Society and Tenleytown Neighbors Association planned a walking tour in cooperation with Cultural Tourism DC. This is the first time Tenleytown has participated in Cultural Tourism DC’s spring program of walking tours throughout the city. 

Special Project: Art on Call
The Tenleytown Historical Society (THS) provided historical consultant services to the Tenleytown Neighbors Association (TNA) for TNA's segment of the citywide Art-on-Call project. The Art-on-Call project is sponsored by Cultural Tourism, DC. Grants are awarded from the city to local non-profit organizations to transform the old fire and police call boxes into local art depicting historical elements of the neighborhood.

The THS identified eleven historical elements to be featured on the call boxes in Tenleytown and the immediate surrounding area. Lena Frumin, a Tenleytown artist, provided the artwork for Tenleytown's historical elements such as The Rest, Grant Road, Fort Reno, Firehouse, churches and schools installed at each call box.

Mr. Lincoln, Tenleytown and the Civil War
Dr. Benjamin Cooling, co-author of Mr. Lincoln’s Forts, National Park Service Ranger Ron Harvey, and THS member Jason Hegy, provided a lively and informative discussion of the role of Fort Reno and Tenleytown in the Civil War.

150th Anniversary of The Methodist Cemetery – with The Methodist Cemetery
Association and Tenleytown Neighbors Association (TNA)

The Methodist Cemetery Association, established in 1855, marked its 150th anniversary at an afternoon event at the cemetery. The program included talks by Margaret Amundson, CG, and Diane Tamayo on different aspects of genealogy relating to the families of those interred at the cemetery. There was a short service of rededication. The cemetery is a lovely oasis as well as the final resting place of many of Tenleytown’s early residents.

Historic Preservation and Eminent Domain: How the Recent Supreme Court Decision Might Affect Your Neighborhood
Dorn McGrath, Professor Emeritus, GWU, former chairman of the Departments of Urban and Regional Planning and Geography, former Chairman of Committee of 100 on the Federal City, Fellow of AICP, and a resident of Forest Hills, provided some insight on how city planning, historic preservation and the eminent domain decision could affect our neighborhoods.

Peirce Mill Tour and Picnic
After an introduction to the Mill’s history by a Rock Creek Park ranger, Richard Abbott, President of Friends of Peirce Mill, and THS member, led a walk, providing an opportunity to get an up-close look at the only remnant of what was once a whole series of mills along Rock Creek in the District of Columbia. The mill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is currently undergoing restoration.

Tour of New Condominiums at Cityline
David Maloney from the DC Historic Preservation Office provided background on the project to add condominiums to the landmarked Sears Roebuck building at the corner of Albemarle Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Representatives of Madison Marquette/Roadside Development then showed a video of the new building taking shape after which participants were able to tour a number of the not quite finished units.

Celebration of Lily Spandorf
In April we celebrated the life and art of Lily Spandorf who adopted the city of Washington as her own and captured its essence and many of its lost buildings in her art.   Her "Never More" collection of paintings of buildings no longer in existence is owned by The Historical Society of Washington, and is the subject of a book entitled Washington Never More. Lily Spandorf spent many of her weekends in Tenleytown.   Her painting of the Chappell house, razed to permit construction of the homes at Nebraska Avenue and Albemarle Street, is reproduced on the cover of Judith Helm's Tenleytown, DC:   Country Village into City Neighborhood.   A video of Lily Spandorf was shown and reminiscences were provided by her friend, Marija Balanc.   

2nd House and Garden Tour

Tour included homes in Grant Road Historic District, Mt. Airy, and American University Park, built from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.   Also included were Eldbrooke United Methodist Church and The Methodist Cemetery.

The Geography of Tenleytown:   Hills and Valleys

A lecture by Richard Randall, Ph.D. explaining how geography shaped Tenleytown's development.   Its elevation (the highest natural elevation in the city is located on the grounds of Fort Reno) provided a strategic advantage to troops stationed at Fort Reno during the Civil War.    Dr. Randall described basic natural features, using diagrams of early geologic structures to illustrate his talk.

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