July 2015

Neighborhood Profile: The Origins and Growth of Logan Circle
The present Logan Circle offers block after block of 19th century Victorian rowhouses restored to their original grandeur, amidst progressive, modern condominium and rental construction. However, Logan Circle, previously named, Iowa Circle, has come a long way. The circumference of the circle itself was landscaped in 1874 in time for the annual “high bicycle” races and in the 1880’s a sparkling fountain was added in the center.
Logan Circle was originally called Iowa Circle. In 1930, Congress changed the name in memory of Civil War General and Senator John A. Logan (D-IL)
Preliminary landscaping sketch 
Most of the three and four-story brick and stone townhouses around the Circle were built between 1874 and 1887 in eclectic styles today referred to as “Second Empire”, High Victorian Gothic, Romanesque Revival, and New Orleans. Logan Circle is admired for its strong foundation, meticulous unique homes and positive ambiance.

Like most booming cities during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there was a shift in the needs of the residents. Convenient commerce and the need for different modes of commuting became essential and Logan Circle was the hub of this change.

Rine Auto Showroom 1612 14th St NW       
In 1864, a horse car trolley line was built along 14th Street in 1864 for commuters

Between the 1870’s and 1880’s, grocers, dealers in dry goods, fancy goods, coal, carpenters, druggists, ad retailers, all competed for business along the 14th Street Corridor. In 1898, the first car sales shop was opened and many Victorian residential and commercial buildings were razed in the first decade of the century to make room for more prominent garages and automobile showrooms. 14th Street evolved from an important 19th century streetcar line to “Automobile Row.”

The Table Church in Logan Circle was always a meeting place for the community. In the 1960’s it was part of Automobile Row and a store specializing in car seat covers was its neighbor. Now the church has been restored and its new neighbor is popular French brasserie, Le Diplomate


The next renaissance in Logan Circle, underway since at least 1995, is finally nearing completion. When Whole Foods Market debuted on the 1400 block of P Street in 2011 it catalyzed a reinvigoration not seen in the neighborhood since the construction boom of the late 19th century. Today Logan Circle is a model of success for the rejuvenation of our city.

Logan Circle has a strong sense of community and diverse populations contributing to the culture and cuisine, interspersed with a variety of high-end retail shops, art galleries and family-owned businesses. The nightlife vibe is enhanced by new distinctive locales. Logan Circle honors its historical integrity and continues to be one of the most beloved neighborhoods to many Washingtonians.

Photos and historical references provided by The Library of Congress,The Ghosts of DC, The House History Man andLogan Community Association.

The Arts, Lifestyle & Architecture of Orvieto, Italy

Orvieto, Italy is one of the principal sights of the region of Umbria, Italy. Its situation is marvelous – perched high above tufa cliffs – showing traces of every phase of history for the past three thousand years, culminating in its magnificent cathedral. Tourists should on no account miss Orvieto if they are visiting Umbria or southern Tuscany. The tufa butte on which Orvieto is located is itself riddled with tunnels and wells dating from Etruscan times to only a couple of hundred years ago. The most spectacular of these subterranean burrowings is the Pozzo di San Patrizio, a deep well with a double spiral stair leading to the water source at its base. It dates from 1537 and is 62 m deep. If you’re in need of exercise, it’s possible to descend and return. Try carrying up a couple of buckets of water – it’ll bring the life of earlier times vividly before you. Orvieto, Italy is situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff, one of the most dramatic townscapes in Europe, rising above the vertical cliffs that are extended by defensive walls of the same stone.

Orvieto “La Citta Slow”

Good living means having the opportunity to enjoy products and services that allow you to live in an easier and more pleasant way. The Romans had a useful phrase: “festina lente” meaning make haste slowly. This “way of life” was mostly an admonition against the time-wasting dangers of impetuousness. In these modern days, when frantic activity can take over daily life to the extent that the joy goes out of it, festina lente, take some time to take some time. Among these gifts from the past are the “slow towns” of Italy and the farm-to-table “slow food” available in Orvieto.

Shopping & Dining in Orvieto

Orvieto offers a great range of great cafes, restaurants and shops that has something for everyone. Specialty food stores, high-end clothing, shoes and leather goods, artisanal products, hand painted plates and tiles, custom crafted jewlery, art galleries and many wine stores.

Do you dream of visiting Italy but prefer an authentic experience? Americana in Orvieto is an American living in the historic town of Orvieto, in the (Green) heart of Umbria. She can assist you by being your private guide and translator, provide valuable information for day trips to ancient ruins, local vineyards, historic Orvieto, Roma, Firenze and so much more! The authentic Orvieto experience is heightened by staying in a local B&B, historic hotels, holiday apartments, villas or castles, with space to suit your family’s needs.