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If Walls Could Talk: The History of 1229 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Georgetown Apple Store)

Explore the history of Georgetown's Apple Store, located at 1229 Wisconsin Ave NW. It's been many things, including a diner, a parking lot, ESPRIT Superstore, and a national chain of disposers of stolen property.
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If you have an iPhone, iPad or any other Apple product, chances are, you’ve set foot in an Apple Store … and if you live in Georgetown, it was likely the one at 1229 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

I long ago abandoned my iPhone in favor of an Android (shocking?) but I still love my Macbook, iPad, and Apple TV. (My first computer was also a 1983 Apple IIC.) Apple Stores have some terrific customer service. So, in honor of my Apple love, let’s do an “If Walls Could Talk” post about the shiny Apple Store on Wisconsin Avenue. And, this time, we’ll be doing it in reverse chronological order.

Apple paid $13 million for the property in 2007 and it took four attempts for them to have an architectural plan approved by the Old Georgetown Board. Their proposal was finally approved in March 2009 and the store opened the following year.

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HMV Record Stores

HMV Record Stores ad (Washington Post)
HMV Record Stores ad (Washington Post)

Remember when you would go to a record store to buy CDs? Or cassettes? Maybe you even remember LPs.

Well, Here’s an ad from the Washington Post on September 15th, 1995, when the building housed HMV (which stands for His Master’s Voice … I did not know that).

Boogie’s Diner

Do you remember when this place held a diner? The Washington Post wrote a good article about seeking the best burgers in Washington on October 24th, 1991. Below is the write-up on Boogie’s.

While there’s nothing odd about eating a hamburger in a diner, there’s a lot that is unusual about Boogie’s Diner (1229 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 298-6060). This is a bright and cheery place with a corny sense of humor that supposedly is a throwback to the 1950s.

Boogie’s, whose slogan is “Eat Heavy, Dress Cool,” is most un-dinerlike in its location: one flight up from a clothing store that offers expensive takeoffs of 1950s items, French-label jeans, glittery bustiers and the like. Boogie’s also shamelessly hawks its name-brand souvenirs–such as sweatshirts and coffee mugs–from every corner.

The decor is a jumbled, post-modern mix with some nice nostalgic touches, including rich milkshakes made in old-fashioned stainless steel containers ($3.25). The fact is, Boogie’s is a good deal flashier than diners used to be–not to mention more expensive.

By the way, the clothing store below was called the French Connection.


What happened to this company? They were everywhere in the 80s and now they’re gone. Apparently, in February of 2012, they shut down all retail operations in North America because they were completely irrelevant and losing tons of money. However, they still have 15,000 employees worldwide. I had no idea.

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Well, back in 1987, they dominated and had a big retail presence in, what is now, the Apple Store. Below is their ad from December 26th in the Washington Post.

ESPRIT Superstore ad (Washington Post)
ESPRIT Superstore ad (Washington Post)

Doggett’s Parking

Doggett Lot
Doggett Lot

It might be hard to believe this, but the building that houses Apple isn’t that old. It was built in the early 1980s, and prior to that, it was a parking lot (Doggett’s Parking). Most advertisements for shopping in the area pointed out the availability of free parking.

Prior to Doggett, it was owned by David J. Wilkerson, who lived at 2323 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, and offered free parking in the 1950s.

Doggett Parking at 1229 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Washington Post - 1979)
Doggett Parking at 1229 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Washington Post – 1979)

A marriage announcement

Forest W. Hevener, 18 years old and resident of 479 F St. SW was to marry Virginia Lee Tucker, 17 years old of 1229 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The Rev. Francis Yarnell was to perform the service and the Washington Post published on June 19th, 1940 that their marriage license had been granted.

Hevener went on to serve in World War II and was with the 29th Division of the Army Air Forces when he was wounded in France. After Europe, Hevener went to the Pacific and fought on Tarawa and Saipan.

Tucker household in the 1940 U.S. Census
Tucker household in the 1940 U.S. Census

National chain of disposers of stolen property

Below is the article from the Washington Post on August 20th, 1918.

What is said by the police to be the Washington link in the national chain of disposers of stolen property was broken yesterday when detectives arrested Barnet Levy upon a warrant issued by Gov. McCall of Massachusetts. Levy was indicted by a grand jury in Boston on June 18, when a true bill was found against him and eleven others.

According to Joseph L. Farrari, a police officer of Massachusetts, who arrived here yesterday to take Levy back to Boston to face charges, a number of manufacturing lofts were broken into last May, and more than $50,000 worth of wearing apparel and dry goods stolen.

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Detectives working on the case discovered that these goods were systematically disposed of through a chain of jobbers scattered throughout the country. The main offenders, however, were stationed in New York city, Connecticut and the District of Columbia.

A large shipment of goods was traced to New York city, where they were reshipped by express to Washington. Detectives F. M. Cornwell and J. C. Berman were placed upon the case early in June, and the goods were traced to the establishment of Levy at 1229 Wisconsin avenue, the detectives allege.

Levy does a general jobbing business, selling at wholesale to small retailers in the District and in the neighboring towns. Several days after being placed upon the case, detectives entered Levy’s store and took therefrom goods valued at $6,000 which they alleged were stolen in Boston and shipped them back to their rightful owners.

The warrant for Levy’s arrest was issued on August 12. both Levy and his sister have been residents of the District for more than 25 years. Levy, through his attorney, Joseph B. Stein, denies the charges of conspiracy. He asserts that he could not have committed the crime as charged, as he had not been in Massachusetts for the last ten years.

According to Detective Cornwell, Boston police authorities have affidavits to the effect that Levy had been a frequent visitor to that city.

Wisconsin Ave. 1919 (Baist)
Wisconsin Ave. 1919 (Baist)

In the above map, 1229 Wisconsin appears to be lot 819.

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Ghosts of DC stories.