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#30daysofbiking: Day 9

April 9, 2012

Built in 1910, the Howard Theater in the Shaw neighborhood of DC was a venue for black artists during much of the 20th century.  The careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, and many others were launched here.  Sadly, the theater closed in 1980 and neglected.  However, in 2010 extensive renovations to restore the theater to its original glory got underway.  Today, they officially finished.  Earlier was the official ribbon cutting and this evening Wale will be performing.  I made a trip down there after work to check it out.

First, to show how remarkable this transformation was here’s an image from Google Street View from not too long ago:

More than just a coat of paint required.

And here it is today:

Amazing!

Crowd gathering for tonight's performance

Brower Hatcher’s Jazz Man Sculpture

Also new, a few steps away was this awesomely whimsical Duke Ellington sculpture, entitled ENCORE, created by artist, Zachary Oxman.

Here’s hoping the “Theater of the People” will be around for another 100 years!

Distance: 4.2 miles

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