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Part of Historically Black Playground Could Be Landmarked

by George Altshuler — December 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm 0

Lincoln Playground Field House (Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board) A local preservation group has submitted an application to make the small brick house just east of Van Ness Elementary School a historic landmark.

The Lincoln Playground Field House, on the Joy Evans Recreation Center site (555 L St. SE), was constructed in 1934 as part of a New Deal project. Of six similar field houses built in the racially segregated District, it was the only one made in a black neighborhood.

“What I really like about this field house is that it was the only one of the six made completely out of brick, the only one outside of Northwest and the only one built for a black playground,” said Kent Boese, president of Historic Washington Architecture, the group that submitted the application.

Boese said that he hopes a historic designation will enable the community to raise funds to renovate the field house for public use, and for Van Ness Elementary, which is set to reopen in the fall.

“The field house is in rough shape, but it’s nothing that can’t be brought back,” he said.

Boese, who is the chairman of ANC 1A, said he secured $400,000 from the D.C. Council to renovate a similar field house in the Park View neighborhood after it was designated a historic landmark.

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board

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