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On April 9, 1901, the 25 feet (7.6 m) monument was dedicated by President William Mc Kinley, Senator Chauncey Depew, and General Grenville M. In the early 20th century, 14th Street NW rose to prominence as a main shopping district for both black and white Washingtonians on the edge of downtown Washington D.
C., and became known as an area for auto showrooms.
During this period, the original Victorian homes in the area were subdivided into apartments, hostels, and rooming houses.
The end of segregation saw a period of middle class flight from the area, punctuated by the 1968 Washington, D. riots, which devastated the 14th Street commercial corridor.
The district's approximately 765 contributing properties are considered historically significant because they represent residential and commercial development resulting from one of the earliest streetcar lines in Washington, D.
C., the 14th Street streetcar line, installed by the Capital Traction Company in the 1880s.
In the 1870s, streets, elm trees, and other amenities were installed by Washington Mayor Alexander Robey Shepherd, who encouraged the development of the area.
Streetcar tracks were laid into what was then a very swampy area north of downtown Washington, to encourage development of the original Washington City Plan.
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Lankford, the first African American architect in Washington, D.
C.; Belford Lawson, Jr., lead attorney in the landmark case New Negro Alliance v.
Further north, "14th and U" became synonymous with a large African American community, later known as Shaw, encompassing parts of Logan Circle and U Street to the north.
Segregation marked the emergence of this large area of well-preserved Victorian row houses as a predominately African-American community; the unofficial dividing line was 16th Street NW, several blocks to the west, with Logan Circle and its older homes sandwiched in between.