Bloomingdale's History

Bloomingdale has a rich history dating back to the turn of the century. Kelsey & Associates, have provided us with a brief history of Bloomingdale and a study of the unit block of Rhode Island Avenue, NW. Please take a moment to read about Bloomingdale's past.

Historic Homes or Note-worthy Properties

N.P. Gage School
2035 2nd Street, NW

Built in 1904 and 1908 the 21,000 sq. ft. school was recently purchased by Howard University (March of 2002) from the Peoples Involvement Corporation (PIC) who was having problems completing this project among many others in area. The property currently sits vulnerable to the elements as debris, broken bottles and trash litter the property and sidewalks of the surrounding blocks.

In November of 2002 at a Howard University Community Association meeting, Dr. Minor mentioned that he had enlisted the help of an architect from Sorg Architects to help determine a viable use for the school.

In 2005 the Gage School became Parker Flats, a three site housing development headed by Urban Realty Advisors (URA) with the design and engineering lead provided by Bonstra Haresign Architects. The Parker Flats has won the 2008 AIA Northern Virginia Chapter; Award of Excellence in Historic Architecture and the 2008 DC AIA Chapter / Washingtonian Residential Design Awards: Exceptional Design Award. The development of this 90+ residential project has turned a community eyesore into a well integrated project. Although parking is now a growing issue, it truly beats the boisterous behavior that it replaces.

Samuel Gompers House
2122 1st Street, NW

Home to Samuel Gompers founder of the American Federation of Labor (1886). Born in London, England on January 26, 1850 to poor Jewish immigrants from Holland. Gompers began working as a shoemaker at the age of 10. He soon switched trades to become a cigar maker, which brought him to New York City (with his family) in 1863. He Headed the AFL-CIO until his death on December 13, 1924.

Built c.1900
National Historic League designation 5/30/73
National Register listing 9/23/74
DC listing 3/3/79

McMillan Park
Bounded by North Capitol Street, Channing Street, First Street and Michigan Avenue, NW

The historic McMillan Park sand filtration site and McMillan Reservoir are part of a chain of public green spaces established in Senator James McMillan's 1901 plan for beautifying Washington. Following the death of Senator McMillan in 1902, the grounds of the site were renamed McMillan Park. In 1905 the sand filtration plant to purify the city's drinking water was built. The grounds of the site were designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The site was designated a historic landmark by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board in 1991.

Harry Wardman Houses

One of the few speculative builders of his era to hire architects, Wardman adapted his designs to diverse neighborhoods and economic groups. From Capitol Hill to Woodley Park, Petworth to Georgetown, Wardman constructed row after row of modest homes that government clerks and other workers could afford.

Bloomingdale is home to many of this Master Builder's homes. Take a look to see if your house is one of them.

Want to help? If you have any historical information or a picture of the front of your house, send it to: