John Harry Shannon (aka "The Rambler") wrote of the areas frequently overlooked but nonetheless pedigreed heritage:
"It is not easy to name a member of an old South Washington family whose grandfather or grandmother did not live between the Arsenal and the two rivers. Thousands of men and women now living in the 'parks: 'heights' and 'terraces' will cast their thoughts back to the old family home on the Navy Yard or the Island. It was not many years ago that Northwest Washington was commons, pastures, bog, forest, rugged hill and steep ravine. What is now South Washington was then all Washington, with the exception of a narrow fringe of settlement north of the Avenue."Early nineteenth century plans for the construction of stately homes and a bustling commercial district never quite fully materialized, and for over a century the southwest, consisting mostly of what is known as "the Island," remained a modest residential host to the rowhouses, tenements, shacks, and even the odd tent of blue-collar workers, the majority of them African Americans with a small portion being working-class whites (predominantly Jewish). Although the increasingly putrid James Creek turned Washington City Canal and a series of explosions at the Washington Arsenal cemented the area as one of the less desirable parts of the city, the neighborhoods were symbolic of the ever fleeting American dream for the newly emancipated, as many freed African Americans had looked to build new lives and legacies on these lands since the days immediately following the Civil War.
Mount Moriah Baptists Church. Several months after it opened the first pastor stepped down, and in May of 1886 Dent took his place and proceeded to take the church to prominence within Washington's black religious community - overseeing it's transition into several newer and nicer buildings (it is now located on East Capital Street, NE), and serving as pastor for over 22 years.
Washington Post for designing a row of houses in Mt. Pleasant that exhibited "architectural beauty, stability, and refinement of taste." A couple non-residential, Palmer-designed properties of note include Union Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as the Navel Lodge and AME Church on Capitol Hill. While Dent's home may seem rather average in appearance compared to the contemporaneous homes of the designated historic districts to the north and northwest, the detached brick edifice was no doubt a remarkable anomaly among the many surrounding shacks on Buzzard Point, and even more exceptional for having endured the "urban renewal" of the 1950's that saw many of the areas homes and churches razed.
Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News