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.)

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Call Box Restoration Is Under Way!

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 clean and repair the artwork and restore or, in some cases, replace the metal back plates, which have deteriorated significantly.

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

Uptown Theater opening night, October 1936AMC Theaters spokesman Ryan Noonan issued this statement this afternoon: In response to community feedback, AMC will maintain the Uptown signage, with an upgrade to LED lighting for better energy efficiency and to ensure the sign remains in good working order. We continue to evaluate additional exterior signage plans, including the addition of the AMC brand on the theatre. We appreciate the passion and feedback from the community, and look forward to serving moviegoers at AMC Uptown 1 for years to come.”

The DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has canceled AMC’s application and will require a new application from them for any further signage they may propose, as well as for the proposed change to LED for the Uptown sign. Once HPO has received an application with the specifics of the proposed change, if they determine that a change in lighting technology would not alter the character of the sign, they will approve it administratively. If they believe there would be a change to the character of the sign, they will send it to the neighborhood (ARC and ANC) for review. We will update when we know more.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to AMC, contacted them via social media, and expressed concern to us and love for the Uptown’s iconic sign. And special thanks to ANC Commissioner Emma Hersh for being out in front on this issue all weekend. [Read More…]

Connecticut Avenue Issues: Resources and Studies

The CPHS board and staff have been following closely the conversations taking place in the neighborhood about the stresses on our Connecticut Avenue commercial district. We have been attending, and will continue to participate in, meetings with neighborhood organizations and merchants to explore ways to support neighborhood businesses and revitalize Connecticut Avenue.

Our Preservation Task Force (PTF), a newly-formed committee of the board, is studying the issues involved from a historic preservation perspective. The PTF’s mandate is to make recommendations to the board on preservation-related policies and advocacy. The PTF includes five members of the board, including two ARC members. Contact the PTF by email. 

While discussions are ongoing, we wanted to share as much useful information as we can to help inform the conversation, including historical, historic preservation, and zoning information, and studies commissioned by neighborhood and DC organizations. We will continue to update this post with more resources.


The 2017 Neighborhood Profiles directory by the Washington, DC Economic Partnership provides demographic and economic data for 54 neighborhood commercial areas, including Cleveland Park, with a focus on population in the half-mile walkshed for each.

This Commercial Market Analysis and Enhancement Strategy for Cleveland Park (October 2016) was commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and shared with us by the Cleveland Park Business Association.


The Neighborhood Mixed Use Zones subtitle of the current (2016) zoning code, which includes the Cleveland Park zone NC-3.


Understanding the Cleveland Park Historic District

This page has a map of the historic district showing contributing and noncontributing buildings, and links to our National Register of Historic Places nomination, which provides a detailed history of the Park & Shop and the Connecticut Avenue business district and the arguments for their significance on which our historic status is based.

This 1991 issue of our newsletter reports on the addition to the Park & Shop that was reviewed by HRPB and built that year. Other early issues of Voices provide perspective on 1980s activism to preserve the neighborhood-serving retail district on Connecticut Avenue.

DC Historic Preservation Law

DC’s preservation law and regulations are posted here: .

This Georgetown Law Library site (which originated with Tersh Boasberg’s preservation law seminar) aggregates all kinds of useful resources on DC preservation law:

CPHS Board News and New Preservation Task Force

Annual Meeting Talk

At our annual meeting on May 22nd, we had a great talk by Tom Moriarity on preservation and retail development in our Connecticut Avenue corridor. His recommendation that Cleveland Park form a Business Improvement District or Main Street Program to bring funding and professional support to neighborhood placemaking and businesses is being actively pursued by business owners and community organization leaders. CPHS is eager to support these efforts. [Read More…]

Pics from March 9th Visit to the Historical Society of Washington

Thanks to Anne McDonough, HSW’s Director of Library Collections (and photographer) for these pics! We had a great time looking at CPHS’s archives, Kathy Wood’s photo collection, Baist real estate atlases, city directories, property records of Uriah Forrest, and more. [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: July 2017

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee Monday, July 10, 2017 REPORT ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, … [Read More...]

Architectural Review Committee Report: June 2017

ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, Lois Orr, David Kay, Stefan Hurray, Danny Ince, Phil Eagleburger, Anne Weir, and Ron … [Read More...]

Architectural Review Committee Report: May 2017

ARC Members attending: Phil Eagleburger, Tina Mead, Danny Ince, Anne Weir, Ron Ngiam, Win Brown, Stefan Hurray, and David Kay. Also … [Read More...]

Architectural Review Committee Report: April 2017

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee Monday, April 10, 2017 REPORT ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, … [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...]