THE SEPTEMBER 2 ISSUE OF THE MAGazine is a gem. Tom Boswell's treatise on Art Monk is thought-provoking. We will focus more closely on Art in the games we see on TV this season. He is a remarkable man and worthy of all the accolades he gets.
I owned and lived in a town house in the 1700 block of 19th Street from the mid-'50s to the '70s, and Michael Dolan's piece on Dupont Circle brought back many memories. Did you know that when Cissy Patterson's funeral was held at the residence on the circle, the enormous pile of dirt in the circle excavated for the tunnel was hidden behind a trucked-in stand of trees? Mrs. Patterson opposed the tunnel project, and the family paid to hide the dirt and appease her in death! GEORGE MACKINNON Leesburg
THREE CHEERS FOR THE WASHINGTON Post Magazine!
The recent feature articles on Washington history -- first those by Benjamin Forgey on National Cathedral and Rock Creek Park and then Michael Dolan's delightful account of Dupont Circle -- were well-written, well researched and illustrated with superb photographs.
I hope your other readers enjoyed them as much as I did and that they are only the beginning of a long series. SUE KOHLER Historian, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts Washington
AS A LOCAL RESIDENT SINCE THE MID- '30s, let me express my appreciation for the excellent piece on Dupont Circle.
There is one area of the circle's eccentricity upon which the article did not touch but has created much speculation on my part, and has not been answered to my satisfaction. I refer to the northbound streetcars, which used to travel around the circle in a clockwise fashion, right into the face of all other vehicular traffic, which was properly moving in a counter-clockwise direction. I can recall the terror I felt as a fledgling driver of Dad's 1934 Chevy coming face to face with one of Capital Transit's green behemoths, careening around the circle at a goodly clip. The story I kept getting in response to my curiosity about this traffic nightmare was that Cissy Patterson stormed at the city fathers, complaining of the potential noise of the streetcars passing her mansion, which was on the east side of the circle. The alleged disturbance of her tranquillity, so the story went, forced the location of the car tracks on the opposite, west side of the circle.KARL G. SORG Arlington
EDITOR'S NOTE: That's an interesting theory, but according to local transit historian Robert A. Truax, "The first horse-drawn streetcars came around the west side of the circle in the 1870s. Both the north- and southbound lines used the west side of the circle because the Union Railroad line came up on P Street and went west to Georgetown. The Connecticut and Park Railway continued north to Boundary Street, now Florida Avenue, and the easiest way was to have that line go out on the wrong side. All of that happened before the Patterson House was built." CONCERNING THE DUPONT CIRCLE story, the picture quoted as 1950 is not true. The boys in the photo wearing knickers date the photo prior to the mid-'30s. The cars in the background have straight windshields of the late '20s era. NORMAN S. MCMORROW JR. Springfield
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. McMorrow is correct. The photograph was taken in 1935.
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