Imagine standing on this corner between the late 1800s and late 1960s. What would you see?
You would be surrounded by rowhouses, apartment buildings, small businesses, and streetcars rattling down G Street toward Union Station. The homes were occupied by a rich mix of families - Jewish, Irish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Greek, African American, and German. Holy Rosary Church, completed by Italian immigrants in 1923, stood a half-block south at Third and F Streets.
The suburbanization, freeway and federal office construction, and the 1968 riots led to the relocation of many residents.
By 1969, this triangular lot was vacant. That year the Jewish Historical Society saved the city's oldest synagogue by moving it here from Sixth and G Streets. It now stands before you as the Lillian and Albert Small Jewish Museum.
Italian barber Pat Lignelli (left), Jewish tailor Simon Berman (center), and Chinese launderer Mr. Lee owned small shops along G Street in the 1930s. Other neighboring businesses included Sam Fabrizio's shoe repair store, Ramblin's grocery store, and Loesberg's Italian Store.
Sirota's Drug Store
This 1943 photo shows Irving Sirota (center), an Eastern European Jewish immigrant, in front of the drug store he operated on this corner from 1921 to 1957. The pharmacy filled prescriptions, had a soda fountain, and sold candy, toiletries, and cigars. With Sirota are pharmacist Joe Snigowski (left) and cousin Jake Rothstein (right).
Berman's Tailor Shop
Gladys Berman stands in front of her father's tailor shop at 309 G Street. From 1910 to the 1940s, the shop pressed suits and cleaned and mended clothes. The family lived above the shop's original location at 313 G Street before moving to a house around the corner at 723 Third Street.
Selma Levine Musher Goldberg holds George Berman (left) and other Berman children pose in front of their home (right). The block wasn't purely residential, though. Across Third Street sat Shrier's family-owned grocery, and up the block was a Sanitary grocery store - part of a local chain later purchased by Safeway.
The Harrison Apartments
The Harrison apartment building opened in 1888 and, after serving as headquarters for the 1890 census, welcomed residents into its 79 apartments. The ground floor housed a restaurant, bar, barber shop, and pharmacy. The city's oldest example of rowhouse-style apartments, the Harrison was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
This panel was made possible by the generosity of: Carol Loesberg Brody, Helene Sirota Edwards, Joan Sirota Gurevich, Alice Berman Levin, National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Council of Washington, D.C.