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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Lightfoot. George M. House
Reference Number 13001070
State District of Columbia
County District of Columbia
Town Washington
Street Address 1329 Missouri Avenue NW
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 1/15/2014
Areas of Significance Ethnic Heritage - Black, Community Planning & Develop ment, Architecture
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13001070.pdf
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The George M. Lightfoot House was built as a residence in 1892 for Frederick Bex, a carriage maker in the small crossroads village of Brightwood in what was then still referred to as Washington County in the District of Columbia. The house was purchased in 1917 by George M. Lightfoot, a professor at Howard University, who resided in the home from 1933 until his death in 1947. Although George M. Lightfoot is not the original owner and builder, the house is named for him due to his associations with the house and the African American community, and due to his family's longtime ownership of the property. The Lightfoot House meets National Register of Historic Places Criteria A and C at the local level of significance. The house is eligible under Criterion A for two reasons: 1) It is one of only a few surviving houses of Brightwood that predate the area's residential subdivision and that reflect Brightwood's history as a rural village; and 2) it is associated with George M. Lightfoot, an African American Howard University professor of Latin from 1891 to 1939, who purchased the home around 1917. The home represents black homeownership at a time when few African Americans were able to purchase grand homes in Washington's suburban areas. Additionally, Lightfoot, devoted to the cause of classical education for African Americans, was noted for the salons conducted in his home attended by prominent black intellectuals such as Carter G. Woodson, WEB Dubois and Alain Locke. This was during the time when the practice of segregation of public facilities discouraged blacks from gathering in clubs and other public facilities where there might have been similar conversation and exchanges of ideas in comfortable social settings. The Lightfoot House is eligible under Criterion C as an excellent example of a 19th -century suburban -villa--a sizeable and freestanding dwelling built in the country, but accessible to the city and occupied by early -commuters.- The house is also notable for its distinctive architecture. The two-story, freestanding frame dwelling, by its massing and architectural features, reflects a fanciful Victorian eclectic style that is not common to the District of Columbia.

 

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria