Howard University Hospital, University Named as Historic Sites

WASHINGTON – Howard University and Howard University Hospital will be honored with three sites along the new Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail during the trail’s grand opening at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, on the front lawn of Howard University Hospital.

The public is invited to the event, which will include refreshments, stories from residents who lived the history of the route, a health fair and a children’s scavenger hunt.

The trail route stretches from the Shaw/Howard University Metro station at Georgia Avenue and S Street to the Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro stop at Georgia and New Hampshire avenues and will feature poster-sized signs outside 19 historical sites that explain their significance and history in the Washington area. 

Cultural Tourism DC is responsible for the trail.  It is the 12th trail created by the nonprofit agency, which promotes places and events in the District of Columbia that would interest tourists and residents.

Howard University Hospital has already received a sign outside telling how it sits on what once was the site of Griffith Stadium, which was the region’s sports and entertainment center for more than 50 years.  The stadium was the home of the Washington Senators baseball team, the Negro baseball league’s Homestead Grays and the Washington Redskins.

Griffith Stadium

The Hospital and the University will unveil an exhibit sponsored by Pepsi Cola that shows the history of Griffith Stadium through photos, memorabilia and a short video documentary about the people who came to the stadium, from presidents to plumbers, to enjoy events there.

Howard University will receive two citations.  One is for Freedmen’s Hospital, which is currently the C.B. Powell Building and houses the School of Communications.   Freedmen’s was established in 1862 to serve African Americans in the Washington area.

The University will also be honored with a poster at 6th and Howard streets to note it was the first liberal arts university created to serve African Americans.

The trail will pass through four neighborhoods—Shaw, Pleasant Plains, Park View and Petworth—and will note 16 other sites, including:

  • The Howard Theatre, which opened in 1910 as the nation’s first major theater built for African Americans;
  • The boardinghouse where novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston lived while a student at Howard University;
  • President Abraham Lincoln’s commuter route;
  • Georgia Avenue’s “Nile Valley”; and
  • Buildings that once housed Wonder Bread and other bakeries.
Freedmen’s Hospital

During the formal presentation, Clark Griffith will talk about Griffith Stadium; Dr. Clive Callender, who performed the first transplants at Freedmen’s Hospital, will explain its significance; and Charlie Brotman, the former announcer for the Washington Senators, will tell stories about presidents who threw out the first balls of the season and famous baseball players.

Dr. R.G. Adams, chief medical officer at Howard University Hospital, will also speak.

During the Howard University Hospital Health and Wellness Fair, there will be free health screenings and information about hospital services.

After the formal program, participants are invited to explore the trail from noon to 2 p.m. on their own, or take a guided walk led by the Working Group community members who helped create the trail.

For more information, visit these sites:

The Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Trail

Other Heritage Trail Sites

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