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Category: If Walls Could Talk

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The Story of Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska's Mansion
Billionaire Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's mansion at 2501 30th St. NW was raided by the FBI last week. Everyone's Googling around for details on Deripaska, but naturally, we're more interested in the history of the property.
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Exploring the History of 3715 & 3713 Macomb St. NW: From Beauty Shop to 2Amys
From beauty shop to shoe shop to 2Amys, explore the history of 3715 & 3713 Macomb St. NW in Washington DC. Learn about the expert barber and shoe repairman that used to occupy the space before it changed hands!
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Exploring the History of Chez Billy (3815 Georgia Ave. NW) in Petworth
Delve into the past of Chez Billy in Petworth with this exploration of the address's history, from ice cream to seafood to Caribbean food. Learn about the building's place in political and African diplomatic history too.
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Mary Surratt Boarding House is Now a Chinese Restaurant
Mary Surratt's boarding house is a Chinese restaurant, still standing just around the corner from Gallery Place Metro. Today, it's Wok and Roll.
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Exploring the History of 1523 31st St. NW in Georgetown
Take a journey through the history of 1523 31st St. NW in Georgetown. Discover the stories of the original owners, Harrie Webster and Mary Williams, the Waters family, and current owners, the Blairs. Plus, learn about the mysterious George W. Slatford.
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The Unexpected History of Home Rule at 1807 14th St. NW
Discover the unexpected history of Home Rule at 1807 14th St. NW, from Edward L. Coates' harassment of Senators to the busts of the numbers racket. Plus, learn about the store's current owners since 1999.
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If Walls Could Talk: Super Liquor - House of Cards Edition
Like most of D.C., probably the country, we’re obsessed with House of Cards. It’s a little over the top, but sometimes that’s the beauty of it. Unfortunately, we don’t often expect movies about Washington to be largely filmed in the District or even have accurate portrayals of our fair city. But, House of Cards is one of the better shows when it comes to this. The Metro scenes...
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Hank's Oyster Bar Old Town History
What's the history behind Hank's Oyster Bar's building in Alexandria? 1026 King St. was built in the late 19th century.
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If Walls Could Talk: Nanny O'Briens
Congratulations to our latest “If Walls Could Talk” poll winner, Nanny O’Briens. We’re going to do a little digging into the history of your building at 3319 Connecticut Ave. NW. Nanny O’Briens The Greek restaurant investor On September 11th, 1952, The Washington Post reported on a funeral mass to be held for Louis Kanakos, who died at the age of 51. The mass...
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Uncovering the Past of 1843 7th Street NW: From Murder to Bankruptcy and Liquor Bans
Explore the dark and fascinating past of 1843 7th Street NW in DC, from murder to bankruptcy and liquor bans. Discover the stories uncovered by GoDC researchers.
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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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A Look Back at the History of 1319 Connecticut Ave NW, Home of Mad Hatter
Take a look back at the history of 1319 Connecticut Ave NW in Dupont Circle, home of the Mad Hatter! We uncover the stories of Mrs. Cordley's antiques store, The Jenny Shoppe, Wig Fair and more.
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Exploring 2446 Belmont Road NW - Home of the Obamas and Former Residence of a Navy Radio Pioneer
Take an in-depth look at 2446 Belmont Road NW, the former home of the Obamas and Captain Charles Maddox, a military radio pioneer. Learn about the history of this lovely Kalorama home and its previous owners.
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If Walls Could Talk: Madam's Organ
Today, 2461 18th St. NW is one of the more popular late-night destinations in the rowdy Adams Morgan neighborhood. Far from it's days as a store where you could buy a crib.
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Exploring the History of 1201 S Street NW, from the Harmon Family Grocery Store to The Coffee Bar
Delve into the fascinating history of 1201 S Street NW in DC, from the Harmon Family Grocery Store to The Coffee Bar. Learn about the Harmon family and the history of the building, plus newspaper archives and more!
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If Walls Could Talk: a Look Inside the Incredible Walsh-McLean Mansion on Mass Ave
Get a peek inside the incredible Walsh-McLean Mansion on Mass Ave, built by gold-mining magnate Thomas Walsh and filled with untold tales of what took place behind its walls. Learn about the royal visitors, soirees, and the long-lost golden nugget.
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Hobbit Houses Near Boundary Castle and a Surprise Historical Connection
GoDC buddy Wayne has kindly requested some digging into the story of the “hobbit homes” on V St. NW. We’re happy to oblige as we are quite curious of their origins. So, this will be a unique “If Walls Could Talk” for GoDCer Wayne. The homes we are investigating are situated about two blocks from 18th and U St. NW. If you’ve ever walked by them, you know what we’re...
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Exploring the History of 1320 14th St. NW: From Auctions to Yeggs to Sex Shops
Explore the fascinating history of 1320 14th St. NW, from auctions in 1878 to a safe robbery in 1934 to a sex shop in 1985. Plus, learn why it's now home to The Pig restaurant!
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Exploring the History of the Kenyan Embassy in Washington D.C.
From the former residence of California's Senator James Phelan to the Embassy of Sweden and then the Embassy of Kenya, explore the history of the Kenyan Embassy in Washington D.C. Learn about the royal visit, the accidental vandalism and the 40th anniversary celebration of the embassy.
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If Walls Could Talk: Ted's Bulletin and 505 8th St. SE on Capitol Hill
We're headed to Capitol Hill to explore one of Bryce Harper's favorite haunts and a place where the President has popped in for lunch. Learn about the history of the building and its former tenant, District Lock & Hardware.
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Shaw's Tavern: A Look at the History of 520 Florida Avenue NW
Explore the history of Shaw's Tavern, located at 520 Florida Avenue NW in Washington, DC. From the Blue Bird Cafe and Tea Room to Benny Lerner's Rainbow Market, to Long's Liquors, this building has a rich and storied past.
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If Walls Could Talk: Tivoli Theater Was "The Temple of the Arts"
Tivoli Theater at night You can’t walk past the Tivoli Theater in Columbia Heights and not admire it, imagining what the surrounding streets were like in the late 1920s. The arrival of Harry Crandall’s new theater was a big deal for the area and let’s not forget that just a couple of years earlier, his Knickerbocker Theatre was the site of the catastrophic roof collapse that killed...
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If Walls Could Talk: Embassy of Ireland
St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, but that is only the climax of the love affair between our country and The Emerald Isle. Everyone has, or claims to have, some link back to Ireland. My wife firmly places her heritage on that island, but alas, I trace my roots back to Ayrshire and the Scottish Lowlands — I don’t think the Irish will hold this against me. Everyone’s favorite...
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If Walls Could Talk: Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar
Sonoma interior Last week’s winner of the “If Walls Could Talk” poll was Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar. They altered the look and feel of the tavern-heavy block of Pennsylvania between 2nd and 3rd St. SE and have been satisfying discerning palates with sophisticated wine and charcuterie since the fall of 2005. I’m excited to branch out to a different neighborhood for this...
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Life Begins as an Apartment Building: Exploring the History of 54 Rhode Island Ave. NW in Washington, DC"

Explore the fascinating history of 54 Rhode Island Ave. NW in Washington, DC, from its origins as an apartment building to a basketball coach's residence to a brutal assault."

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If Walls Could Talk: Smith Commons
Smith Commons Curious about Smith Commons on H St. in DC? Check out our latest “If Walls Could Talk” post. The winner of our second IWCT poll is the H Street hot spot, Smith Commons (I don’t think I like that acronym). I came across some interesting stories related to the spot at 1245 H St. NE, not to mention my favorite D.C. police officer. The next time you hit up happy hour...
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If Walls Could Talk: The New LivingSocial Live Events Center
I came across a great idea while reading Prince of Petworth’s post on LivingSocial yesterday. The DC-based company just opened up their “live events center” in a building at 918 F St. NW, which was the former National Union Building. It’s a magnificently beautiful Romanesque building, six stories tall. This one certainly has a colorful history, so it’s going to make for...
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Eastern High School: History of The Pride of Capitol Hill
I thought it would be a good to branch out and do a on Eastern High School (check them out on Facebook) near RFK Stadium. It’s a beautiful building at 1700 East Capitol St. NE, originally built in 1923. The original Eastern High School building was building in the 1890s at 7th and C St. SE. This past fall, they started a unique program of enrolling a new ninth grade class, growing the school...
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Exploring the History of Pearson's Liquor Store in Glover Park
Explore the history of Pearson's Liquor Store in Glover Park, DC, from 1933 to present day. Hear stories about yeggmen, traffic deaths, price fixing, and more!
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If Walls Could Talk: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
I’m missing tonight’s slow braised pork shank, but a deal’s a deal (if you’re reading this on Friday, I wrote this Thursday night and ordered take out from Pho 14 … yum). Winner of the inaugural “If Walls Could Talk” reader poll is Pearl Dive Oyster Palace (@PearlDiveDC), taking 33% of the vote. Cleveland Park’s representative, Dino (@dinodc), took...
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