April 2nd Talk: Adapting Historic Buildings for Accessibility: Exteriors

Join us on Monday, April 2nd at the Cleveland Park Congregational Church for the second in our series with the Cleveland & Woodley Park Village on aging in place and historic preservation.

Steve Callcott, Deputy Preservation Officer at the DC Historic Preservation Office, will discuss solutions for creating handicapped accessibility in historic buildings, both private homes and public buildings. Steve will discuss how the Americans with Disabilities Act and the historic preservation law work together, and options for preserving historic character while improving access.

The talk is free and open to the public. If you plan to come and could let us know by RSVPing to 202-615-5853 or, it will help us plan seating and refreshments. For questions about the program, email Carin Ruff at We hope to see you there!


The response to our 2018 membership campaign has been fantastic so far, with about three-quarters of the 2017 members already renewed for this year. We’re so grateful to our new and continuing members. If you have not renewed yet for 2018, please send in your renewal form or renew online right here, and please let new neighbors know about CPHS. (If you would like some CPHS brochures to give to neighbors, email us and we’ll drop some off for you.) We’re on track to be able to fund everything we want to do in 2018, but we need everyone to renew. Thank you for your support!


If you are planning work on your property in the Cleveland Park Historic District this year, please START by contacting Michael Robb in the DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO) for design guidance and to find out what level of review your project needs. He can be reached at 202-442-7703 or

AFTER you have consulted with HPO, contact us (Carin Ruff) and ANC3C (Nancy MacWood) to schedule neighborhood review of your project, if needed.

CLICK HERE for a complete explanation of the preservation design review process and all the contact information you need.


We’re busy working on plans for the new program year. Here’s some of what’s in the works for this winter and spring:

  • A series of programs in collaboration with Cleveland & Woodley Park Village, our neighborhood aging-in-place organization, on adapting historic buildings for accessibility and aging in place.
  • Centenary celebrations for the Cleveland Park Congregational Church, the only one of the many nearby houses of worship that lies within the Cleveland Park historic district.
  • A Wikimedia Edit-a-thon on April 7th, focusing on Cleveland Park and associated historic sites.
  • First fruits of our new oral history project.
  • American University Public History students making short videos about Cleveland Park’s development and architecture.

…and more! To be sure you don’t miss the invitations to upcoming events, sign up for our e-news list using the “Subscribe to CPHS E-News” box in the left sidebar. The mid-January e-news will have lots more detail about what’s coming up.

Pictures from Gingerbread 2017

Thanks to everyone who came to this year’s gingerbread party, and especially to former board member Robert Jenkens, who baked all the houses, provided all the fixings, and generally single-handedly makes this great annual tradition possible! (For more pics, click the “Read more” link at the bottom of the post, and for even more, see our Facebook page and Instagram.) [Read More…]

Call Box Restoration Is Under Way!

Update: For “Under Way,” read “Almost Complete”!

Red Top Call Box painted-front

Thanks to the generosity of our members, the fifteen historic police call boxes around the Cleveland Park Historic District are getting a facelift designed to last for the long haul. The old, fading, chipped paint on the box bodies is being scraped and sanded away and new primer and a double coat of fresh paint, including gold accents, is being applied. You’ll see this work in progress around the neighborhood in October and November. (See a map of all the call boxes at this link.)

Right: The “Red Top” call box with body painted and artwork awaiting cleaning and repair. The art depicts Grover Cleveland’s summer home, “Red Top,” a.k.a. “Oak View.”  Below: Workers complete the gold accents on the box at Connecticut and Macomb.

The next stage will be to restore or, in some cases, replace the metal back plates, which have deteriorated significantly.

[Read More…]


For Architectural Review Committee agendas, click on the meeting date in the calendar in the left sidebar. Agendas are normally posted at the end of the week preceding the monthly meeting.

Architectural Review Committee Report, February 2018

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee Monday, February 12, 2018 REPORT ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, … [Read More...]

The UPTOWN Sign *UPDATE 7/31: AMC will keep the sign!*

AMC Theaters spokesman Ryan Noonan issued this statement this afternoon: "In response to community feedback, AMC will maintain the Uptown … [Read More...]


Rural Remnants of Washington County: Download the Report

We had a fascinating talk on February 9th by Kim Williams of the DC Historic Preservation Office on her research on houses and outbuildings that remain from before the "suburban" development of Washington's outer neighborhoods. If you missed the talk, or if you'd like to … [Read More...]

What is the Period of Significance and what does it mean for Cleveland Park?

In the Cleveland Park Historic District, buildings built between 1880 and 1941 have the full protection of the District of Columbia’s historic preservation ordinance, the Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act (1978). Those built in 1942 or after do not. Thus … [Read More...]

Where Was Grover Cleveland’s House?

Here at CPHS, we've received quite a flurry of queries from neighbors recently about where Grover Cleveland's house was. We're not sure what prompted the sudden interest,* but it seemed like a good topic for a blog post. … [Read More...]

“Connecticut Avenue Highlands”

When Cleveland Park was first developed around the turn of the 20th century, it was known as "Connecticut Avenue Highlands". You can just make out a billboard advertising the new development in this photo. The billboard is near the current site of the Uptown Theater and the … [Read More...]