Massachusetts Avenue, stretching out from Dupont Circle in Northwest, is filled with the Gilded Age mansions of the most eminent residents of Washington, DC in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. The fountain in the center of Dupont Circle is still a gathering place for the neighborhood.
The Blaine Mansion was the first mansion to go up on the Circle in the 1880’s, supplanting nearby Logan Circle as the center of the city’s wealthy residents. It is a cool building, and I apparently was so busy looking at it that I didn’t notice that it was being converted into condos with a new addition.
The back, facing P Street NW, has a very cool early Twentieth century storefront addition, built when apparently the mansion was converted to a boarding house. I was very upset to see that a small hardware store, and the Third Day, the coolest little plant store had been gentrified out of existence. In their places was a generic, chain pizza restaurant. I’m not sure it was a chain, but it sure looked like it. I found myself wanting to scream at the patrons of the restaurant, asking them if they knew what great people’s dream had been ruined by the exorbitant rents the new condo developers surely asked the small businesses that had been here for decades.