Remembering "the Village"

Remembering "the Village" (HM2758)

Location: Washington, DC 20001
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 54.255', W 77° 1.321'

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Midcity at the Crossroads

—Shaw Heritage Trail —

Two churches on Eighth Street, the Greek Orthodox Saint Sophia's and the Syrian-Greek Orthodox St. George's once anchored a thriving community here known fondly as "the Village." Homes and businesses of European-immigrant and native-born white and African American families surrounded the churches. Seventh and Ninth Streets supplied life's necessities and small luxuries, from groceries to billiards. Although the Walter E. Washington Convention Center covered three blocks of Eight Street, the Village was torn down piecemeal long before the center opened in 2003.

When Vasiliki (Billie) Stathes Wills was a young girl in 1932, her Village neighbors included a policeman, tailors, carpenters, cooks, chauffeurs, laborers, and entrepreneurs. Billie's Greek immigrant father James Stathes owned the Busy Bee Restaurant at Ninth and G. Palestinian immigrant John George owned a restaurant at Seventh and P. Russian-Jewish immigrant William Cafritz ran the District Grocery Store at Ninth and L. Across the street at 811 L, the Italian American physician Fred Repetti tended to neighborhood families at his home/office. And the Knights of Pythias hosted community activities in their elegant hall on Ninth.

For Billie and her pals, fun meant daily visits to the Carnegie Library for playing on its grounds. And, without family automobiles

of their own, they found the four gasoline stations at Eighth and M fascinating. "We would go to the corner every day to look at the marvelous cars that stopped for gas," she recalled.

By the mid-1950s most of those who could afford to had moved out of downtown, and the two orthodox churches followed.

Marker by Events DC in cooperation with Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, District Department of Transportation, and Cultural Tourism DC.
©2014, Events DC
HM NumberHM2758
Year Placed2014
Placed ByEvents DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324666 N 4308094
Decimal Degrees38.90425000, -77.02201667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 54.255', W 77° 1.321'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 54' 15.3" N, 77° 1' 19.26" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202, 703
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1100 7th St NW, Washington DC 20001, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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