The Foggy Bottom Association History Project
The FBA is excited to announce the creation of the Foggy Bottom Association History Project. The Project seeks to educate all residents within the FBA boundaries and others about the history of the area starting from the earliest habitation to the present day. The association’s goal is to create a ‘go to’ resource source for all who are interested in the history of the area and add materials to the historical knowledge of this unique neighborhood. We envision a site created with interactive software to help create a more diverse understanding the area drawing from past history projects, collections, historical studies, and new research. We will also use this project to continue to protect the historic character of Foggy Bottom Historic District and area at large.
The boundaries of “Foggy Bottom Association” are generally Rock Creek Park on the west; the Potomac River on the south; and N Street, NW on the north, down 20th Street NW to Pennsylvania Ave NW, to 15th Street NW to the East.
The project will be anchored in this Webpage. We plan to include: (1) a Blog with posts re specific FB historical places and events; (2) a resources list identifying online resources, information repositories, other websites, and important books and articles; (3) an illustrated timeline of Foggy Bottom area events and facts; (4) an interactive map of the historic rowhouses and alley structures allowing residents to add photos of the homes, historical records and other related information relating to the history of the property, and (5) a collection of oral histories.
We are currently documenting historic points in and around the Foggy Bottom Historic District. We actively are seeking your input! Throughout the development of the project, the association encourages you to submit your own historic photographs, documents, information, and stories, and/or volunteer to assist with the project. We anticipate adding information gradually and moving towards launch date in fall 2021.
The Current Challenge: Preserving the Waggaman Row House
Since its founding as the Foggy Bottom Restoration Association in 1955, the FBA has fought to preserve the historic character of the area. In keeping with its roots and original objectives, the association’s current mission statement indicates the FBA will “promote historic preservation in the area.”
On January 29, 2021, The George Washington University filed for a permit to demolish the 134-year old Waggaman Row
House – you may know it as the White Victorian Row located across the intersection from Whole Foods, at 22nd and I
Streets NW. The House at 837 22nd St. was originally part of a group of 11 rowhouses erected for developer Thomas E.
Waggaman in 1886. GW bought the property in 2000 and it housed the Women’s Studies Department and more
recently the Nashman Center for Community Engagement.
GW has indicated that it intends to use the site for “green space” but the removal of the historic house would make the
current park area less attractive (noisier and less private) by removing a buffer to I Street. In any case, it appears likely
that GW intends to develop the entire area, including the current small park and dog area. Thus any additional green
space gained from the small footprint by demolition of the house would be temporary.
The FBA asked the Ward 2A Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) to engage with the community
and GW in discussions about preserving the House. See FBA ANC letter 3.12.2021 below.
Also, here's a nice article from John Kelly in the Washington Post about the house:
August UPDATE: Despite our letters to the ANC and GW President LeBlanc requesting that the House be preserved,
at least in the short term, GW intends to proceed with the demolition. If you want to let GW know what you think,
Funkstown: Foggy Bottom History
The original development in Foggy Bottom was established by Jacob Funk, and called Hamburgh, although it was referred to as Funkstown. We've taken that name for a series of short articles published in the Foggy Bottom News on Foggy Bottom History. Subscribe to the newsletter or read below! Also follow us on Twitter @FunkstownDC.