Caroline Street Timeline
1791: Square 190 designated on the Banneker/L'Enfant/Ellicott plan for Washington. It is north of the space for the executive mansion, near the northern boundary of the new city.
15 May 1820: Congress approves Washington City charter with home rule. There was a directly elected mayor, eight-member board of alderman and a twelve-member board of common council. The boundaries are those of the L'Enfant plan. Georgetown remains a separate city. (DC page 22)
February 1871: Washington City, Georgetown and Washington County abolished and a unified District government created. Home rule is effectively abolished. The governor, governor's council and board of public works are nominated by the president subject to confirmation by the Senate. There is an elected House of Delegates and a school board, but with very limited influence. Many other positions are appointed by the president. The Board of Public Works under "Boss" Shepherd begins a massive program to extend and pave the city's streets and create a sewer system, among other things. (DC page 22 et seq.)
22 August 1879: Building permit number 236 for construction of 24 semi-detached houses on Caroline Street issued to Diller B Groff.
4 June 1880: federal census shows on Caroline Street in 1502 George P Davis, clerk in Treasury, and family; 1506 Peter G Pierce, plasterer, and family; 1501 Thomas M Baldwin, clerk in Interior, and family; 1503 John W Reid, clerk in Treasury, and family; and 1509 George H Rice, plate printer, and family. All are white. There are no servants. (Enumeration District 18, pages 16 and 17, houses 138 - 142.)
18 January 1882: Mrs. Morrill of 1514 Caroline street northwest had found a diamond in a can of coffee. As a promotion, Importers Tea Company of New York had been including a premium worth ten cents to $50 in each can as a promotion. Other winners listed in the article include George E Winters of the United State jail. (WP)
13 December 1882: Permit 742 for rear extension to 1512. Mr Woodruff is the owner.
21 February 1884: permit 1066 for rear extension to 1506. M C Gerard is the owner. The extension is described as a porch.
21 October 1885: "Children playing with matches caused a $50 fire yesterday afternoon in Mr C. C. Paul's house, 1502 Caroline street." (WP)
6 November 1886: Mrs Theodosia M. Hodge has sold to G. Turner lot 111, square 190, 1,300 feet on the corner of Fifteenth and Caroline street, between T and U streets, for $5,000." (WP) That is 1918 15th St. (While the notice does not say so, I presume that means a house and lot.)
3 March 1887: "Mr Waldecker's Gold. Sarah Edmund, a colored girl, was brought to this city yesterday by Detective Wheeler from Norfolk, where she was arrested, on a dispatch from here for robbing the house of Emanuel Waldecker, No. 1501 Caroline street, on the 31st of last January." Seems she had been a servant for Waldecker, was fired, and the next night returned and stole some gold coins she knew to be in the house. She reportedly lost part of her gains to other thieves in Norfolk. (WP)
6 July 1888: permit 29 issued for construction of a third floor on 1506. E. Dietz is the owner.
22 March 1890: "When Mr Thompson, of 1523 Caroline street, went home about 11 o'clock last night he found a Negro boy hiding in his living room." The boy, James Thompson (apparently no relation to the house resident) aged 19, was in a later article on 23 March reported to have been responsible for a string of burglaries. Property from several was recovered when police searched his home on 11th street. (WP)
6 July 1888: Permit 29 for third story on 1506 Caroline Street. Owner E Betz
2 July 1889: Permit 12 for rear extension and front bay extension to 1505. Owner W R Brown.
11 February 1891: Permit 1554 for rear extension of 1511. Owner Mrs Van Armun?.
10 November 1894: "Has Mr. Taylor Resigned? An Unconfirmed Report that the Record of Deeds Is About To Step Down. , , , His last residence was on Caroline street , but he moved from there on October 29. . . . He has succeeded in breaking with almost all of his colored associates in this city, and in a political way has lately been left very severely alone even by the Democratic Negro League, of which he was the nominal president." (WP) The article adds a rumor that Taylor's letter of resignation is on the desk of President Grover Cleveland - a clear statement of how the District was treated as a Federal colony in those year.
If true, Mr Taylor (Charles H J Taylor) was apparently the first Negro (which he preferred to black) who was not a servant to live on Caroline Street. In February 1888 he was minister (what would now be called ambassador) to Liberia. Later in 1888 he was living in Kansas City, the editor of the Public Journal, which was described as a Democratic journal. He was nominated by President Cleveland to be Recorder of Deeds in DC in April 1894 and confirmed in May 1894.
28 September 1895: "Captain William Ross Brown died Thursday evening, at 10 o'clock, at his Washington residence, 1505 Caroline Street." After studying medicine, Browne had become a sailor instead. He circumnavigated the globe thirteen times, commanded a naval vessel for a while, and served as a consul. (WP)
22 November 1896: Thomas H Alward of 1518 Caroline Street is struck and injured by a horse and buggy that was racing with two others on Conduit Road (now McArthur Blvd). He was with his son Harry, who was not injured. The three drivers, apparently young dandies out to impress their dates, were all arrested for speeding when they reached Georgetown. (WP)
August 1897: John R. Croggon of 1511 Caroline wrote the city's Engineer Commissioner and the Department of Health indicating that a public well existed near or in front of his house and that he believed the water was not potable. (Department of Public Works archives)
14 November 1897: "Karl Roeser, a well known German-American journalist, died at his home 1504 Caroline Street . . . being nearly ninety years old. . . . He was employed by government departments here for some years. He will be buried in Rock Creek Cemetery by the side of his wife, who died about two years ago." (WP)
27 May 1903: Diller B Groff and his brother Samuel are arrested for briding August W Machem, Superintendent of the Free Delivery Division of the US Post Office. The context was securing a Post Office contract for a mail box lock that the Groff brothers had patented.
15 October 1903: Charles L Houghton of 1505 Caroline Street offered to sell the District two lots in Anacostia for the construction of a school. (WP)
7 May 1906: Jane McFarland acquires 1506 Caroline from John Reed, et. al. (Note: the notice also says lot 59, which is 1508.) (WP)
16 September 1906: Diller B Groff and his brother Samuel A are released from the Moundsville, WV, penitentiary after completing their two year sentences. The Groff brothers were not on speaking terms in jail, and went their separate ways when released. It is reported that they enjoyed excellent food prepared by a famous chef while in prison - the bill being covered by the Groffs and some other well-to-do inmates including August W Machem and George E Lorenz. The Groffs, Mach, Lorenz and two Beaver brothers had been sentenced for defrauding the Post Office in a contract to provide "Groff patented mail-box fasteners." (WP)
8 August 1907: Jessie M Casanova acquires lot 60 (1506 Caroline) from trustees Joseph R Edson and Charles B Harley for $3,050. Casanova uses mortgage of $2,000 from Washington Loan and Trust Company to pay off prior mortgage from Equitable Co-operative Building Association. (WP)
17 August 1908: Mrs L B Latte of 1516 Caroline Street is injured by a runaway horse pulling a phaeton at Seventh & K, NW. Her companion, Mrs Mary Ann Given of 1761 U St, NW, died of injuries from the incident. The horse was said to have been frightened by an automobile. Mrs Latte lived with Mr & Mrs John Croggan. (WP)
10 May 1909: Permit 4250 for modification of 1505.
5 September 1909: Alice M Selby, age 11, of 1507 Caroline has a short story (practically a poem) published in Washington Post. The title: "I Wish I Were Rich."
1 November 1914: Mrs A Y Casanova of 1506 Caroline Street had hosted the Livingston Manor Chapter of the DAR the previous Wednesday. (WP)
10 March 1914: Death of Edward Loughrey of 1524 Caroline reported. He was 74 and died at home. (WP)
14 February 1915: Thomas Alwood had the previous week received a building permit to repair 1518 Caroline Street for an estimated cost of $80. (WP)
19 October 1915: "Practically the entire estate of David Talty, who died at Atlantic City September 30 last, valued at more than $40,000, is left to a friend, John F. Pearson, who lived with him, by a will and codicil filed yesterday for probate. A house and lot, 1517 Caroline street northwest, this city, are left to Mrs. Joanna Lawler Hays, of 24 N street northwest. . . ." (WP)
1 September 1916: 1501 Caroline Street passes from William Blatcher and spouse to Lucy C Carter, who then immediately transfers it to Jessie Blatcher. (WP)
1 November 1916: Post Office opens in grant building at 1438 U Street. As the post office for zone 9, it remained in operation until 15 November 1940. The building is currently occupied by Cada Vez night club.
6 March 1917: Mrs A Y Casanova is living at 1506 Caroline Street. (WP)
24 June 1918: 1503 Caroline Street is transferred to Margaret C Middleton and Mary C Finney by Sarah L H Coyne(sp?). (WP)
20 October 1924: Probate of estate of Sally L Barry in Supreme Court of the District of Columbia awards 1509 Caroline Street to Allen D Kemp. This was a very complicated case involving two other estates (Mary Barry and Helen F Barry) and numerous pieces of real estate scattered all over the city. Kemp purchased 1509 for $4,900 plus fees. (WP)
14 February 1921: "Mrs Helen Myers, 1515 Caroline street northwest, who had filed suit for annulment of her marriage to William E. Myers, a Marine stationed at Quantico, went to Rockville with her erstwhile husband and was remarried. Mr. and Mrs. Myers left last night for Quantico and the annulment proceedings will be dropped." The annulment suit had charged that he was not legally able to marry Helen in the first instance because of a divorce decree which had prohibited him from remarrying within six months. The suit was first reported on 8 February, with the contention that he had held a razor to her throat. (WP)
3 September 1921: "Funeral services for J. Edgar Walters, who died at his home, 1517 Caroline street northwest, Thursday, will be held from the family residence this afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment will be in Glenwood cemetery. Mr. Walters was for many years associated with the Riggs National Bank of this city. He was prominent in Masonic circles here and was active in church and philanthropical work." He was survived by a wife and one son, not named in the obit. (WP)
1 December 1921: Miss Elizabeth S. Dure had her purse snatched by a colored youth at the corner of 16th and Caroline streets northwest last evening. The boy escaped by outrunning a policeman. (WP)
1 September 1928: "John A Sims, of 1508 Caroline street northwest, who declared he was permanently disabled as a result of a traffic accident on January 27, yesterday filed suit in District Supreme Court to recover $10,000 damages from Millard E. Peake, of the Bethesda Farms Dairy, whom he charges with being responsible for the accident." Sims had been riding a bicycle at 15th and R streets when the alleged incident occurred. (WP)
6 April 1936: "Edward Arnold, 50, Negro of 1500 (sic) Caroline street northwest died . . . at Freedman's Hospital from injuries suffered when he was struck by an automobile at Fifteenth and U streets northwest." He was the 26th person to die in a traffic accident in DC in 1936. (WP)
1947: Harry Belafonte attempts to break into the singing world at Lewis and Alex's restaurant at 1211 U St., NW. He is fired after one evening. (GUS page 82)
1948: Paramount Steak House opens at 17th & Church.
1952: George and Caroline Evans, using GI Bill, buy and move into 1504 Caroline Street. Their son Anthony celebrates his second birthday the next day.
1956: Will Williams family moves into 1508 Caroline.
14 - 16 April 1968: Riots destroy most businesses and some houses in 14th Street and U Street corridors.
1972: Scoop the poop becomes law.
12 May 1972: "Charles M Gamble, of Washington, was robbed by two men, one of whom carried a knife, at about 3 p.m. Thursday in the 1500 block of Caroline Street, NW." (WP)
1974: Rick Busch moves to Caroline Street.
January 1975: Limited home rule granted to the District. However, laws and budgets continue to require Congressional approval or at least acquiescence. (DC page 37)
February 1976: Dan and Nancy Gamber move to Caroline Street.
27 January 1978: Contractor for rehabilitation of 1505 Caroline sought in Invitation for Bids by DC Department of Housing and Community Development. (WP)
1 June 1978: Contractor for rehabilitation of 1510 Caroline sought in Invitation for Bids by DC Department of Housing and Community Development. (WP)
12 May 1979: Gambers' (1502) car rear-ended with serious damage. They decide to bank the insurance money and try life on Caroline with no car. The experiment quickly became permanent. No car was necessary.
19 May 1979: Partial collapse of 1524 Caroline due to inept attempt to lower basement floor to create an apartment. The brick walls of the houses, as built, extend several inches below the basement floor and have no foundation in the modern sense. The basement floor of 1524 was dug out to BELOW the bottom of the walls. After a rain the bottom of the outside wall of 1524 slid in and the upper part of the wall buckled out. As several block residents brought chairs and refreshments to watch the show, owner Rodney Thorn finally took a joist and forced a controlled collapse of most of the outside wall and part of the rear wall.
2 June 1979: Formation of Caroline Street Residents Association. Richard Busch is selected first chairman (or president or whatever - there are no written rules).
25 August 1979: Block party celebration of centennial of Caroline Street - the first annual block party.
15 December 1979: First annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Mannings (1512), Mopsicks (1506), Blands (1501) and Rippeteaus (1512).
24 September 1979: Mecca Temple purchases 1438 U Street. The Temple upgraded the building as a private club and offices.
Early months of 1980: 1524 remains a ruin. Rick Busch, Steve Mopsick and Darrel Rippeteau lead a campaign to get city officials to force Rodney Thorn to repair the building.
28 January - 8 February 1980: crime wave on Caroline Street: four cars and a house broken into, and a woman mugged.
10 May 1980: Caroline Street celebrates the launch of its Neighborhood Watch. The Neighborhood Watch sign design is selected by the street, and the signs purchased by the street.
23 May 1980: Residents of 1901-1907 15th Street celebrate successful purchase of the buildings by the tenants, as a co-op.
12 July 1980: Second annual block picnic.
17 July 1980: "Caroline Street Celebrates Big" is lead on three-photo spread in Washington Post on our second annual block party. (If anyone can find a decent copy of the group picture, I will add it to the site.)
10 January 1981: Second annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts were Evans (1502), Raisler/Kelsey (1503), Busch (1520) and Collins (1521).
1981: Position of association treasurer created, with a one-time assessment of $12 per house. Steve Mopsick accepts the position.
21 May 1981: "When It's High Noon at 14th and V Streets" is the headline of an article on the drug market operating next to the girls of Saints Paul and Augustine Catholic School taking their lunch break. (WP article by Ken Richburg, front page of DC section.)
25 July 1981: Third annual block picnic.
9 January 1982: Third annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts were Williams (1508), Dodson (1507), 1512 or 1514, and Pauls (1513).
25 September 1982: Fourth annual block picnic.
18 December 1982: Fourth winter progressive dinner hosted by Rippeteaus (1510), Evans (1504), Collins (1521).
1982: Owner of 1534 U Street applies for license for liquor importing business. The block and others oppose, successfully.
16 February 1983: Steve Mopsick resigns as first block treasurer as he is moving to California.
21 June 1983: Two births on the street! Eva Rippeteau (1510) and Jordan Manning (1512) become the street's youngest residents.
24 September 1983: Fifth annual block party.
17 December 1983: Fifth winter progressive dinner. Hosts were Mopsicks (1506), Raucher/Segalla (1503) and Casey (1511).
June 1984: Jonah Paul (1513) becomes the youngest resident.
15 September 1984: Sixth annual block party.
15 December 1984: Sixth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts were Busch (1520), Jacksons (1519), Chagnon/Escobar (1522) and Petersen-Beard (1503).
23 June 1985: Seventh annual block party.
1985: Paramount Steak House, now with the addition of "Annie's" to the name, moved a block north to the current location.
1986: Proposed Ward One Land Use Plan appears to include north side of Caroline Street in U Street commercial zoning. Rick Busch leads effort to at least move the line into the north alley.
25 January 1986: Seventh winter progressive dinner.
June 1986: Ken Cooper tries to sell 1931 16 St by lottery, as, he said, an offer of $350,000 was too low.
23 June 1986: U Street Metro Station ground-breaking ceremony.
13 July 1986: Farewell party for the Mannings.
20 September 1986: Rick Busch testifies for the association at a public hearing on the proposed Ward 1 draft plan. He emphases that the plan must protest Caroline. The plan as presented would rezone the north side of Caroline to commercial.
1987 - 1989: The District Office of Planning presented a proposal to rezone the 14th and U Street corridors, with an "arts overlay." The intent was to finally foster redevelopment of an area which had been depressed since the riots. The plan would have apparently - finding a definitive map proved impossible - changed the zoning of the north side of Caroline to commercial. The proposal would definitely have increased the allowed height on the 1500 block of U Street from 50 to 75 feet. The block objected strenuously, with Peter Brehm the primary spokesperson. Square 190 was eventually withdrawn from the proposal. (For the rest of the overlay area, the plan has allowed - in many cases forced - practically all the development to take place with no provision for parking.)
10 January 1987: Eighth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Mears/Williams (1517), Rippeteaus (1510), Brehm/Huey (1515), Pauls (1513).
1987: Concern about use of Pride building for halfway house and clinic leads to campaign against such use. Campaign to get 1929 16th (vacant and unmaintained) at least boarded up.
11 April 1987: Spring street and alley clean-up day.
11 July 1987: Ninth annual block party. A little rain is not able to dampen the festive mood.
December 1987: Annual street charity donation of turkeys to St Augustine's Church.
9 January 1988: Ninth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Gambers (1502), Newmans (1511), Busch (1520).
1988 1510 put on market for $240,000.
9 April 1988: Farewell party for Rippeteaus at 1502. Annual street and alley cleaning held the same day.
17 September 1988: Tenth annual block party.
29 October 1988: Caroline Street one of several community organizations to propose creating historic district roughly from Florida Avenue to Rhode Island Avenue between 14th and 16th streets.
December 1988: Partial relaying of sidewalks.
December 1988: Annual street charity donation of 22 turkeys to St Augustine's Church.
14 January 1989: Tenth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts were Huey/Brehm (1515), Evans (1504), Hanley and Newman (1513), and Nugent and Scher (1514).
1989: Cable television arrives on Caroline Street. Rick Busch led a campaign to have the street repaved. 1506 put on up for sale at $315,000.
7 April 1989: Official beginning of Lincoln Theater restoration.
8 April 1989: Annual spring street and alley cleaning.
July 1989: 1507 advertised for $245,000.
9 September 1989: Eleventh annual block party.
2 October 1989: Recycling starts, initially including newspapers and yard trash.
13 January 1990: Eleventh annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Mitchells (1512), Newmans (1511), Grady (1516), and Dodges (1507).
Early 1990: Sewers inspected by TV. No problems noted.
4 April 1990: Mayoral candidate Charlene Drew Jarvis visits Caroline Street Residents Association.
28 April 1990: Annual spring street and alley cleaning.
14 July 1990: Twelfth annual block party scheduled - and rained out.
July 1990: Andy Newman, Caroline Street's artist, has a show at the Venable Neslage Gallery.
4 August 1990: Twelfth annual block party held.
August 1990: Reconstruction of street and sidewalks. In the process three new tree boxes were created. The street collected money to plant trees in them, as well as a replacement tree in front of 1521.
December 1990: Annual charity contribution. This was the last year that turkeys were donated to St Augustine Church. Toy donations were also requested.
26 January 1991: Twelfth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts were Myers/Seifert (1512), Newman (1511), Busch (1520, and Pembroke (1523).
20 February 1991: Request to DPW for trees in boxes by 1501, 1506, 1521 and 1524. When it became apparent that the District had no trees to provide, the association purchased two Crimson King maples that were planted in front of 1501 and 1506.
7 March 1991: Norman Bland dies. He was born 1 August 1911. (SSDI)
11 May 1991: U Street Metro station opens.
18 May 1991: Annual block clean-up.
20 July 1991: Thirteenth annual block party.
11 January 1992: Thirteenth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Basist/Wests/Scher (at 1502) with sushi from the Wests, Newmans (1511), Busch/Pembroke (at 1520), and Hanley/Salvador/Nugent/Seifert (at 1513).
16 May 1992: Annual block clean-up.
9 September 1992: Fourteenth annual block party.
August 1992: New Hampshire Market held up; bicycles stolen from Wests' back yard.
October 1992: Tree box in front of 1521 has stump of old tree removed by District. Caroline Street Residents Association purchase a new tree.
3 October 1992: Fourteenth annual block party.
December 1992: Annual street charity contributions go to Martha's Table, Whitman-Walker Food Bank, and So Others May Eat. This was the last year that turkeys were donated, as the charities reported they were receiving enough from other sources. In addition, two large boxes of canned good were donated by street residents.
1993: Request by Mobil gas station owners for permission to built convenience store and car wash draws opposition from Caroline Street and many others. The law firm of Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs represents the opponents. The request is withdrawn.
4 January 1993: Marion James (Buddy) Jackson (1519) dies. He was born 27 October 1916.
30 January 1993: Fourteenth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Phelps (1516), Basist (1502), Collins (1541), Pembroke (1523).
17 June 1993: Chris Carroll (1519) graduates from Jefferson Junior High. The associations presents him with $500 in memory of his grandfather, and a start on the expenses of his private high school.
17 July 1993: Block sale and annual block clean-up.
18 September 1993: Fifteenth annual block party.
December 1993: Annual street charity contributions of $355 to So Others Might Eat, Martha's Table and Whitman-Walker Clinic.
20 December 1993: Man shot and killed around the corner from Caroline on 15th Street. (WP 22 Dec 93)
1994: Christine Pembroke requested proposals for installation of tree boxes from numerous vendors. Later the block voted on the designs. Machine street cleaning with alternate-side-of-street parking initiated.
January 1994: Construction of Green Line Metro north from U Street begins.
January - July 1994: Rick Busch, Mark Huey and Jim Mears, with help from many others, lead campaign to stop liquor license for Zig Zag Cafe (later renamed Nero and now Selam) at 1524-26 U Street. To stop the issuance of the license would have required signatures of 50% of the registered voters living within 600 feet - about 1,300 voters, according to District records. However, the records were highly inaccurate, with more than 300 of the people listed having died or left the area. The campaign was able to obtain only about 200 signatures. However, a voluntary agreement covering inter alia noise, parking and garbage, was signed with the owners of Zig Zag.
3 January 1994: President Clinton invited to annual block progressive dinner.
4 February 1994: President declines invitation to annual winter progressive dinner. Gala reopening of Lincoln Theater at 1215 U St, NW.
12 February 1994: Fifteenth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Brehm/Huey (1515), Newmans (1511), Basist/Benjamin (1502) and Pembroke (1523).
11 April 1994: Association writes in support of District bill to increase fines for littering.
7 May 1994: Annual block clean-up.
10 September 1994: Fifteenth annual block party.
November 1994: Annual charity donations were $100 each to So Others Might Eat, Martha's Table, and Food and Friends Inc.
21 January 1995: Sixteenth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Myers/Seifert (1512), Newmans (1511), Busch (1520, and Pembroke (1523).
1995: Beginning of study for declaration of historic district to include Caroline Street. Opposition (unsuccessful) to zoning variance to allow construction of convenience store at Mobil gas station at 15th and U. Several tree boxes installed.
April 1995: Rick Busch signs agreement with National Park Service for the Caroline Street Residents Association to adopt the park at 16th and New Hampshire (reservation 146).
20 May 1995: Annual spring street and alley clean-up.
11 September 1995: Andy Newman (1511) featured in Washington Post as a lawyer who decided that painting would be a more satisfying career. (WP B7)
23 September 1995: Seventeenth annual block party.
27 - 28 October 1995: Street works on mulching park at 16th and New Hampshire.
1996: Proposed amendments to DC Comprehensive Plan bring new fears for the future of the street, and a campaign to protect the street. Rick Busch and Peter Brehm take the lead.
27 January 1996: Seventeenth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts were Myers/Seifert (1512), Newman (1511), Busch (1520), and Pembroke (1523).
4 May 1996: Association members landscape park, planting over 1,000 new plants provided by the US Park Service. The Caroline Street Block Association contributed $400 to the cost. Planting plan for our park. Summer watering roster started.
May 1996: U Street Fire Station (Engine Company 9) closure proposed. Caroline and other groups protest, successfully.
18 May 1996: Block sale.
1 June 1996: Annual spring street and alley cleaning. As the District was no longer providing pick-up for such, the Association hired a private hauler.
21 September 1996: Eighteenth annual block party.
10 November 1996: Eloise Bland (1501) dies. She was born 22 October 1915. (SSDI)
November 1996: Office of Planning proposes changing zoning of part of 15th in Square 190 from R-5-B residential to C-2-A commercial, and part of 16th in Square 190 from R-5-D residential to C-2-A commercial. Caroline Street protests this move which would have extended commercial zoning part way down the east and west alleys.
March 1997: Marcia McDonell (1509) featured in Intowner article on Children's Studio School hopes and plans to become a charter school with its own building. The Studio School, founded about 1977 by McDonell, was housed in the Cleveland Elementary School.
6 April 1997: Marcia McDonell (1509) featured in Washington Post education review section. The two page article describes the Children's Studio School which Marcia founded.
June 1997: Intowner "Neighborhood Gardens" article has "The Caroline Street Block Association" as gardeners of the month. The article was mostly about the tree boxes, but mentioned the park at 16th and New Hampshire.
2 August 1997: Eric Savader (1513) dies. He was the husband of Mary Hanley. and the dessert host for the 1997 progressive dinner.
20 September 1997: Nineteenth annual block party.
1998: Greater U Street Historic District established. Bounded roughly by 16th, 6th, R and Florida, it includes Caroline Street. You can see a complete list of the historic districts of DC at http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/DC/District+of+Columbia/districts.html
1998: First recorded instance of Lake Helene - flooding in the south alley due to a blocked drain. After numerous complaints and service requests, the drain was finally cleaned in June 1999.
10 January 1998: Nineteenth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Wests (1506), Busch (1520), Myers/Seifert (1512) and Collins (1521).
17 July 1998: Attempted cat burglary foiled when Al Seifert (1512) hears strange sounds.
14 September 1998: Block votes to support Greater U Street Historic District proposal, which would include Caroline Street.
19 September 1998: Twentieth annual block party.
November 1998: Intowner has a photo of parts of 1503 and 1505. The caption says, quite incorrectly, that 1505 had been renovated and expanded, while 1503 "is the un-facelifted twin."
December 1998: Annual charitable donations of $375 were made by the street and residents to Martha's Table, So Others May East, and Central Union Mission.
13 February 1999: Twentieth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Wests (1506), Hanley (1513) Huey/Brehm (1515), and Myers/Seifert (1512).
18 September 1999: Twenty-first annual block party held, despite a scare from Hurricane Floyd. There was also a block sale that morning.
April 2000: 1523 sells for $325,000.
7 May 2000: Chris Carroll (1519) receives his BS degree from Hampden-Sydney College.
September 2000: 1521 sells for $325,000.
16 September 2000: Twenty-second annual block party.
29 November 2000: 1524 sells for $430,000.
2001: Cada Vez, publicizing itself as a family restaurant with new American cuisine, obtains a liquor license, despite some neighborhood opposition. Those against said that the place looked like a night club (three service bars and lots of light bars, few tables). Dr Simo maintained that he would offer fine dining, Sunday brunch for seniors, a conference center, meeting rooms, and computer classes for youth and seniors. Cada Vez was supported by Councilman Jim Graham, and not opposed by the Caroline Street Residents Association.
3 February 2001: Twenty-second annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Brehm/Huey (1515), Whall/Rodden (1521), and Dhiman/Burian-Fitzgerald (1501).
February 2001: 1507 sells for $400,000.
25 May 2001: George Archie Evans (1504) dies. George was born 9 August 1921 in North Carolina, and moved to DC after service in WW2.
10 - 12 August 2001: Extremely heavy rain floods several basements on the street. Some of the flooding was from sewers backing up.
22 September 2001: Twenty-third annual block party held.
November 2001: 1908 15th sells for $540,000, after two weeks on the market. That was slightly less than the asking price.
December 2001: Annual holiday contributions to local charities: Food and Friends $75, SOME $85, and Martha's Table $100. That was a combination of specific donations from various residents and from the block treasury.
1 January 2002: Caroline re-warded from Ward 1 to Ward 2 as a result of redistricting following 2000 census. Change in parking permit zones causes confusion.
9 February 2002: Twenty-third annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts included Hanley (1513) for appetizers.
31 March 2002: Three shot in the wee hours in the north alley. All lived. Those involved did not live in the area.
August 2002: Rick Busch collects funds on the street to purchase Safeway gift card for the Rippeteaus (formerly of 1510) whose home had been destroyed in a fire.
21 September 2002: Twenty-fourth annual block party.
17 November 2002: Baby shower organized by street residents at 1512.
17 November 2002: Anna Caroline (1511) becomes youngest resident.
20 September 2003: Twenty-fifth annual block party postponed until 27 September due to Hurricane Isabel.
7 February 2004: Twenty-fifth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Gambers (1502), Brehm/Huey (1515), Myers/Seifert (1512), and Hanley (1513).
17 April 2004: Block clean-up and sale.
April - May 2004: WASA cleans and repairs sewers in the Caroline St alleys. This was one of several projects in the are to correct flooding problems exposed in August 2001.
30 April 2004: Luca (1510) born, becoming the youngest resident of the street.
2 July 2004: 1512 sells for $820,000.
22 August 2004: Twenty-six residents and friends join for a toast to the 125th anniversary of the street, and twenty-six years of the Caroline Street Residents Association.
7 September 2004: Richard Maljak (1522) dies.
18 September 2004: Twenty-sixth annual block party postponed by one day (to 19 September) due to remnants of Hurrican Ivan.
12 February 2005: Twenty-sixth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Wests (1506), McKeown/Phelps (1503), Karolik (1507), and Yeagers/Matthews (1501, at 1510).
16 February 2005: Caroline Evans dies. The block matriarch, she had lived in 1504 since 1952.
August 2005: 1504 sells "as is" for $560,000. It is immediately gutted.
17 September 2005: Twenty-seventh annual block party.
December 2005: The Street's annual holiday donations for 2005 are to Martha's Table and Food and Friends..
2 February 2006: Eddie Williams (1508) dies.
11 February 2006: Twenty-seventh annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Hanley (1513), Gambers (1502), Busch (1520) and Graham-West (1506).
April 2006: Spring block clean-up not held because trees continue to drop large quantities of blossoms.
25 - 26 June 2006: Several heavy rain storms in a row dump about 10 inches of rain on the area. The 2004 sewer work seems to have worked, as there were no sewer backups in or around Caroline Street. There was some minor basement flooding due to ground or surface water.
26 June 2006: Youri van de Worp (1510) makes his entrance into the world and Caroline Street.
6 July 2006: Dead tree in front of 1521 and sick tree next to 1920 15th cut down. Peter Brehm arranges for replacement trees to be planted, with block funding.
8 July 2006: Margo MacGreagor, long time waitress and manager at the Trio Restaurant, dies.
27 July 2006: lead pipe replacement project starts. Test pits reveal no lead, but 17 houses with galvanized. The project replaced the galvanized. However, the promised repaving of the street and sidewalks did not follow. Department of Transportation excuse: funds not obligated in fiscal 2006, and no funding allocated for fiscal 2007.
16 September 2006: Twenty-eighth annual block party. Guests include Councilman Jack Evans and mayoral candidate Adrian Fenty, and their children.
10 February 2007: Twenty-eighth annual winter progressive dinner. Hosts Peter (1515), Gill and Gerry (1506), Greg (1524), and David and Michael (1503).
18 August 2007: Departure party for Peter Brehm (1515), who has moved to Frederick, Maryland.
15 September 2007: Twenty-ninth annual block party.
fall 2007: sweet gum tree planted in box next to 1919 16 St by Casey Trees.
December 2007: Downzoning request submitted to Office of Planning. It would reduce the zoning for Caroline Street to reflect the actual development. The area had been rezoned for high density apartments in the 1960s when a freeway down U Street was planned.
9 February 2008: Twenty-ninth annual progressive dinner. Hosts Dan & Nancy (1502), Joe and John (1521), Elizabeth (1522), Gill & Jerry (1506).
29 February 2008: WASA starts digging behind 1502 Caroline because of sewer complaints apparently from 1908 15th Street.
March 2008: Voluntary agreement signed with Selam restaurant at 1524 U Street. They requested longer hours and live entertainment. We agreed, in exchange for pledges to keep the area clean and noise inside.
March 2008: Sewer work behind 1507 - 11 T and 1908 15th. Sewer line replaced from manhole behind 1910 15th to behind 1509 T, with a new manhole there, and then east to just past the telephone pole.
April 2008: Sewer work after backup in basement of 1905 16th. Digging in the alley behind 1905 and in the alley walkway beside 1905 showed that the drain from 1905 was on the front, to 16th. Yard dug up and line replaced.
23 April 2008: Repaving of Caroline Street done in one day. Nothing done on sidewalks, though they have been promised.
7 June 2008: Partial interior collapse of 1841 16 St (southeast corner of 16th and T). Building, which is rented to numerous, has been neglected for many years.
14 July 2008: Zoning Commission holds final hearing on changing zoning of Caroline Street and some neighboring squares. Caroline changed from R-5-B to R-4, which more closely reflects the actualy development. R-5-B would have allowed a height of 60 feet. Rick Busch and Ann Selin were the primary actors in applying for the change, with help from Dan Gamber and others.
20 September 2008: Thirtieth annual block party also celebrates Will William's 90th birthday.
27 September 2008: 1507 Caroline for sale at $789,000.
7 February 2009 Thirtieth annual Caroline Street progessive dinner. Hosts Rick (1520), Clem and Susan (1918 15th), Greg (1524) and 1506 (Gill and Gerry).
22 April 2009: 1518 Caroline starts to collapse after some hardly unusual rains. The basement was being excavated and proper footings had not been built. This had occured before: 1524 Caroline in 1979, 1926 15th in the early 1980's, and 1912 15th have all had some collapse during construction. There was also one in the 2000 block of 15th in about 2007.
23 April 2009: sidewalk repaving finally starts. It had originally been promised for 2006 after completion of the water pipe project. Unfortunately in the process some of the treebox dimensions were changed, leaving fences stranded.
15 July 2009: tree box work reconfigures two boxes that were left stranded by the sidewalk repaving. A matching iron box is finally installed in front of 1504 Caroline. There are now iron enclosures on all the tree boxes on Caroline.
19 September 2009: Thirty-first annual Caroline Street block party.
23 December 2009: First snow of the winter: 17 inches.
30 January 2010: Second snow of the winter: 6 inches.
4 - 5 February 2010: Third snow of the winter: about 24 inches.
5 February 2010: Thirty-first annual Caroline Street Progressive Dinner. The snow stopped by noon and many neighbors pitched into clear the sidewalks and a path across the street. Twenty-eight neighbors attended. Hosts: Jay (1507), June-Wei and Hakam (1510), Patrick (1512) and David and Michael (1503).
9 - 10 February 2010: Fourth snow of the winter: 13 inches and blizzard winds. A record total snow for DC - and it ain't over yet!
8 March 2010: Truck sent to remove badly damaged tree in front of 1513 unable to get down Caroline Street.. Red VW jetta sedan Maryland license 65885CC was parked way out form the curb on one side, and blue Chrysler PT Cruiser license DC DK 5687 was not too close to the curb on the other side.
16 March 2010: New Chinese Elms planted in front of 1509 and 1521. The box in front of 1513 should have been empty and might have received a new tree also, but see previous item.
2 October 2010: Thirty-second annual Caroline Street block party. Since the party was later than usuaul and hence after the primary election, there were no politicians. On the other hand, at about 50 the turnout was the largest in some years. The weather was perfect.
12 February 2011: Thirty-second annual Caroline Street progressive dinner. Hosts 1918 15th upper, 1519, 1503 and 1518 Caroline.
23 August 2011: Earthquake. At 1:51 PM, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake with epicenter about 80 miles southwest of DC. Quite a shake, lasting near 30 seconds. The only certain damage on Caroline: two bricks fell from the facade of one building.
2 - 9 September 2011: Rain, rain, go away. Eight inches of rain in a week produced by the remnants of hurricane Lee plus the steering currents of hurricane Katia. Happily, sewers do their job.
24 September 2011: Thirty-third annual Caroline Street block party. The weather was excellent, the swarms of biting insects record-breaking.
11 February 2012: Thirty-third annual Caroline Street progressive dinner. Hosts 1520, 1521, 1518 Caroline and 1905 16th.
28 April 2012: Work party cleans "our" park - the triangle between 16th and New Hampshire at U.
29 September 2012: Thirty-fourth annual Caroline Street block party. The weather was cool and clear - no bugs.
2 March 2013: Thirty-fourth annual Caroline Street progressive dinner. Hosts 1503, 1506, 1510 and 1524 Caroline St.
3 April 2013: Joe Rodden, long time resident of 1523 Caroline, dies.
7 June 2013: a birth on the street. 1523 has the first new baby on Caroline in several years.
8 June 2013: south alley progressive BBQ.
16 July 2013: Jim Mears and Clint Williams leave Caroline Street after nearly 40 years.
23 July 2013: Will Williams, oldest and longest resident of Caroline Street, dies. He was 99 years old.
28 September 2013: Thirty-fifth annual Caroline Street block party. The weather was cool and clear - no bugs. As an extra, we were found by a group of the Washington Area Road Skaters on an evening roll with they mobile disco.
2 January 2014: Two inches of snow.
21 January 2014: Five and a half inches of snow.
13 February 2014: Eleven inches of snow reported at American University.
25 - 26 February 2014: Four more inches of snow.
1 March 2014: Thirty-fifth annual Caroline Street progressive dinner. Hosts 1513, 1506, 1520 and 1504.
3 March 2014: Snow 4 inches or so. This was the fifth significant snow of the season.
17 March 2014: Snow 7 inches or so. This was the sixth significant snow of the season. Fortunately, it started melting off immeditely.
March 2014: For the first time in over half a century, nobody in the Williams family is living on Caroline Street. We wish them well in their new abodes.
15 June 2014: South alley progressive picnic. Hosts 1512, 1510, 1506 and 1502.
9-10 August 2014: Burglary. For the first time in many years, a house on Caroline was broken into. The owner was away. Thief came over the solid back fence and could work in privacy as he removed the bars from the kitchen window. Inside, he could take his time browsing for interesting things. Fortunately, he only took things easy to replace: televisions and such.
11-12 August 2014: Burglary again. At 1919 16th, an apartment was entered through an apparently unlocked window. Electronics were stolen.
31 August 2014: champagne brunch at 1510 to wish Mariko and Ernest happy trails as they prepare for a couple of years in Surinam.
4 October 2014: Thirty-sixth annual block party is the coldest in memory – 53 degrees when it broke up early. And wind gusts of over 20 mph. Many years it is difficult to get things to stop by the legal limit of 10 PM. Many participants continued partying at two houses.
12 February 2015: Body in the street. According to police reports, an armed robbery on Swann Street was interrupted by police, who gave chase to the perp. There was a gun fight, in which the perp was wounded. The perp fled on a bicycle and was cornered in front of 1502 Caroline St. There, he apparently shot himself in the head.
21 February 2015: Thirty-sixth annual progressive dinner. Even though it had been snowing much of the day, with a total of about 6 inches, and a forecast of sleet and then rain for the evening, the dinner went on anyhow. Several helped clear the sidewalks. Hosts 1524, 1503, 1513 and 1520.
22 Feb 2015: power (electricity) outage starts at 12:30 PM. Service not restored until 3 the following morning. Good thing the progressive dinner was not postponed one day – we would have eaten by candle light.
26 Feb 2015: MORE snow!
5 March 2015: over 5 inches of snow. This is getting to be a March habit!
6 June 2015: Another south alley progressive picnic, hosted by 1512, 1510 and 1504.
18 June – 1 July 2015: A total of 8.5 inches of rain – plus more earlier in June for a monthly total of over 13 inches. The average for June is 3.78. Happily, we had finally gotten all the drains cleaned so there was no massive alley flooding. However, a few basements were flooded – including 1920 15th once again.
31 July 2015: trees down, steps damaged. Treescape Services of Virginia (http://treescapeservicesva.com/aboutus.html) took down two trees behind 1513 T St NW. The process of cutting down the trees was a ballet of ropes to avoid damage to anything around. But the enormous root system was not ground out properly, and one of the Treescape vehicles hit the side steps of 1524 Caroline, causing extensive damage to the steps and iron fence. Treescape ignored all attempts at contact concerning this two problems. Both the roots and the steps/iron work engender substantial expense.
26 September 2015: Thirty-seventh annual block party.
9 Jan 2016: Suspect arrested in south alley, whence he had run.
22-23 Jan 2016: 22 inches of snow.
27 Feb 2016: Thirty-seventh annual progressive dinner. Hosts 1507, 1523, 1511 and 1504.
11 June 2016: Another south alley progressive picnic, hosted by 1512, 1510 and 1504.
DC = District of Columbia - A Bicentennial History by David L Lewis, Norton and Company, 1976
SSDI = Social Security Death Index
WP = Washington Post
GUS = Greater U Street by Paul K Williams, Arcadia Publishing, 2002.
Last update 4 December2015
Copyright Richard Busch,
Blanket permission for downloading and reproduction for personal use is given.
Any commercial use without explicit written permission is prohibited.
home | previous page - the street today | next page - the permit | contact