Back in 1875, there was little to give us an impression of what would one day be the block of Oregon Avenue between Miami and Potomac streets. There was a large Second Empire mansion, owned by a Mrs. W.L. Ewing, but little to show the dramatic change in elevation between the “lower” and “upper” portions of the street.
For whatever reason, and probably the presence of a rocky outcropping, a large retaining wall was built in the early Twentieth Century, and Oregon has been blocked off permanently.
But as I noted before, the fence is now open, at least on the east side, unlike when I first featured the wall back in August of 2012.
A new chain link fence has replaced the old, rusting black fence for much of its length, as well.
Heading up to the upper section, which I featured in February of 2015, we’ll go north looking at the west side of Oregon first.
Starting right up at the top of the west staircase, you can tell the block developed rapidly as there is a whole row of nearly identical four-family apartment buildings featuring single front doors.
Interestingly, there is one two-family that breaks up the row of the brown brick four-families, and it was probably built before them.
There are some parking lots before the intersection with Potomac.
The large church dominates the southeast corner and stretches down the block.
Originally South Side Baptist, it is Peace Tabernacle Church today.
The rest of the block is multi-family housing on the east side.