Curious coincidence? About 1913 young Edward “Duke” Ellington began hanging out in a pool hall operated by Frank Holliday in a building in the 600 block of T Street NW owned by Washington, D.C. physician Louis Kolipinski.
Howard Theatre vicinity, c. 1919. Arrow indicates former Frank Holliday pool hall location. Credit: Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Washington, District of Columbia, Vol. I, Plate 32.
Kolipinski was born into a Russian (Polish) immigrant family and he graduated from Georgetown medical school. He began practicing medicine in 1897 and by the first decade of the 20th century was investing in real estate throughout Washington. He owned several buildings in the 600 block of T Street NW including the two-story brick building where Holliday and later proprietors operated a pool hall. The Howard Theater, completed in 1910, is located across an alley to the east.
During World War II, the U.S. government built “temporary suburbs” throughout the United States. One of those suburbs was located just north of the District of Columbia in a part of unincorporated Silver Spring, Maryland, called Four Corners. For a brief period during the war, the development was a ghost town. At least that’s what some critics of the 238-unit public housing project called it.
Fairway Houses location. Adapted from Google Maps.
In 1942, Washington’s slum clearance agency (the Alley Dwelling Authority; later, the National Capital Housing Authority) began scouting sites in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties for temporary defense housing sites where migrants to the metro region could live while working in government agencies and defense-related industries.
The agency selected two sites in Prince George’s county where it built one 500-unit project near College Park and another 315-unit project near Suitland. After hitting considerable opposition to a proposed 800-unit development near Kensington in Montgomery County, the ADA settled on building in Four Corners. Twenty-eight acres north of Forest Glen Road and south of University Blvd. (then known as Old Bladensburg Road) in scattered sites were condemned. The Montgomery County project was called the “Fairway Houses,” a name derived from surrounding residential subdivisions.
Map showing Alley Dwelling Authority projects. Fairway is highlighted. Report of the National capital housing authority for the ten-year period 1934-1944.
Former Perpetual Building Association building, 8700 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Md.
… But not necessarily for the reasons preservationists suggest.
In 2007 Montgomery County, Maryland, historic preservation advocates asked county leaders to add the former Perpetual Savings Association bank building in downtown Silver Spring to the county’s Master Plan for Historic Preservation. The designation would have ensured the 1958 building’s presence along Georgia Avenue in perpetuity. Instead, the proposed designation led to litigation and recriminations. The Perpetual case was precedential, examining the pitfalls of preserving buildings of recent vintage and the minutiae of due process in county master plan legislation.
The Perpetual Building Association was a Washington banking institution founded in 1881. It built branches throughout the District during the early 20th century and expanded to Montgomery County after World War II. The bank became one of the leading local mortgage lenders, helping provide the capital for homebuilding in Washington’s rapidly expanding automobile suburbs.