TAPE 1/SIDE 1
ECK: Good morning this is Michael Eck. I am interviewing Lawrence Monaco for the Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project. It's April 13 , and we are meeting at 539 11th Street SE, my home. Good morning Larry.
MONACO: Good morning there, how are you?
ECK: I'm fine. Thank you very much for doing this interview. So Larry if you could provide some biographical information.
MONACO: Yeah, I'll provide some background. What I would like to do is give you a little background about my mother and father and me, all of whom were, well actually my mother and I were actually born in the original Sibley Hospital, which was at New York Avenue and H Street, which I think is now office building and/or Sursum Corda. And we lived at 1217 B Street NE, which of course is now 1217 Constitution Avenue NE. My mother's -- my grandmother, my mother's mother and father bought that house new, in either 1905 or 1907 for about $3,000. And that's where we lived because my mother's father died. He was like Vice President, I think, of the C and O Railroad. And he died of diabetes in the mid-30s, my mother was 15 months old and he died about a year before they discovered insulin and using insulin as a cure for diabetes or at least a partial cure for diabetes.
ECK: What was your grandfather's name?
MONACO: George . . . George Whitney. And so . . .
ECK: Your parents' names, do you want to tell us that?
MONACO: Yeah, my mother's name was Elizabeth Whitney and of course her nickname was Eli for Eli Whitney after the inventor (laughter) of the cotton gin. That was her name. And my father was Lawrence Monaco, Senior, and I'll tell a little bit about him too. But just to let you know, we lived with my grandmother because it was -- she had a huge house. It was her by herself and of course to save money we all lived together. Diagonally across the street from 1217 B, to the right, was Maury Elementary, which is where my mother went and I went. My mother's kindergarten teacher was a Mrs. White and when I went there Mrs. White happened to be the principal of Maury Elementary.
It was sort of -- just to tell you a little bit about the block we lived on, the 1200 block of B Street. Diagonally across was -- of course the school was to the right, diagonally to the left there was -- I guess you can't call it a corner grocery store. But there was a grocery store in the middle of the block, which is where my mother used to send me across the street to buy milk and cigarettes. Down at the right hand corner at Tennessee was Aaron's -- I don't know if you'd call it Aaron's Drugstore, something where they had comic books which I used to spend all my time secretly reading the comic books till Mr. Aaron got mad and said I had to stop. Down on the other corner across the street at 12th and B was a chain -- that existed back then -- called DGS, District Grocery Stores, which was another grocery store we could go to. And further down on the next corner down was Reed's pharmacy and drugstore, which is where we used to go. I used to go there for milkshakes and ice cream sodas and root beer floats.
ECK: How do they spell Reeds?
MONACO: I think it was already R-E-E-D, I think, I don't think it was R-E-A-D. Add then diagonally across from there. At this I already remember is, bringing us down to Tenth Street. If I go back there . . . it was a corner house, which actually during World War II was a Safeway. And I remember that because of course I would go with my mother, and we would stand in line all day because during World War II you had to use rationing coupons. And we used to spend all day there. A couple hours there standing in line to -- and of course she went on separate days for different things. Like you would do sugar and coffee on one day, breads on another and things like that. But it was actually a Safeway grocery store back then.
On my father's side, my father was actually born at 207 B Street NW, which is now -- which of course would be Constitution Avenue NW. It's now cleared; it was cleared for the Mall. He was actually born -- they had a grocery store on the first floor and they lived up above. When they started clearing out the Mall -- and I think it's now the area where it is the East Wing to the National Gallery of Art. I think it's where 207 would have been. They bought 123 D Street SE, which is where my father was raised. So he was raised in Southeast. And all his buddies and friends though somehow . . .
ECK: That's fascinating. Was there a train station down there when your father was born?
MONACO: Yes, yes. My father's father, my grandfather, actually worked in that train station before they had Union Station. Good point, yeah. It was about Sixth or Seventh Street, something like that.
ECK: And what was the year?
MONACO: My father and mother were both born in 1914. And they started clearing the Mall around '17, '18, around the time of World War I. And that's when they actually -- I actually have the documents, the sale documents for 123 D Street SE. And the water bills for five years and all the rest of it.
ECK: That's neat. Oh, now I think President Garfield was shot down there. Did they say anything about that?
MONACO: It wasn't at that station. No, no. Understand, my grandfather -- both my grandfathers died way before I was born. I knew my grandmothers but my grandfathers . . . my father's father married my -- my father's mother, he was sort of an older man, though they married in Long Island. They were married by the mayor of Long Island. And then they moved down here. I assume because of the work he had with the railroad. I am not sure why that happened. But . . . that was it. Somehow my mother and father -- of course I was raised in Northeast and nobody ever thought of 1217 B Street, which was in effect a block from Lincoln Park. Nobody ever thought of that as Capitol Hill. I guarantee you, if we were ever asked where we lived, we would say we lived on Massachusetts Avenue NE. Near Massachusetts Avenue NE, strangely enough, or Lincoln Park. And one set of pictures I couldn't find was pictures of my sister and I. Because we would always spend the day -- my mother or grandmother would always take us down to Lincoln Park. We would spend the day playing in Lincoln Park.
ECK: Was there any sculpture or architecture in Lincoln Park at the time?
MONACO: Yeah, yeah. It was at one end of the park, which as I understand it, 15, 20, 25 years ago, they took that statue and moved into the center of the park. Of Abraham Lincoln with the freeing of the slaves.
MONACO: Yeah, yeah. But it was always down at one end of the park which would have been the 12th Street end. Yeah. Which is where it was actually . . . dedicated.
ECK: 13th Street end? 12th is right in the middle.
MONACO: Yeah, I'm sorry. Then it was the . . . 11th Street end?
ECK: 11th is of course the western end.
MONACO: Yeah, it would have been the western end. That's where it was originally built and dedicated.
MONACO: And then they moved it down to the center of the park as I understand it. Not, again, 15 or 20 years ago. I think it's still in the center of the park but I am not sure.
ECK: Yes, it is, right at 12th Street.
MONACO: Right, right at 12th Street that's right yeah.
ECK: Then there's the Bethune statue further . . .
MONACO: The Bethune statue actually . . . was where the custodian or janitor's house was, plus the public bathrooms. (Laughter). Okay.
ECK: They had some public facilities in Lincoln Park. Ah ha!
MONACO: It was sort of interesting but that was all right. And I would also say that my mother and my godmother, [Antoinette], who was my aunt, went to Hine Junior High, Eastern High, as did a number of my uncles, who all went there. My mother actually played basketball at Eastern High.
ECK: This is on East Capitol Street, the Eastern High school building on East Capitol Street?
MONACO: As I understand it, originally it was Eastern High School -- Hine which is where, where Hine right now is, and then they built Eastern and then of course they left Hine, the Junior High there, in effect it was a combination as I recalled my mother telling me, it was a combination junior high - high school. And while my mother was there . . .
ECK: And that's on Eighth Street?
MONACO: That's right. Between Seventh and Eighth or something like that, on Pennsylvania. In effect right across from the Market, Eastern Market. Almost across from it. And then when they built Eastern, and then of course they left Hine there -- and Eastern High School was where it is now on East Capitol Street, about 20th and East Capitol Street, or something like that. [ed: Eastern High School is at 1700 East Capitol Street NE.]
MONACO: And as I said: my mother actually played basketball, women's -- female basketball in the 30s. Let's see, yeah that's it. Late 20s, early 1930s for Eastern High School, in which women at that time, it was not a lady thing to do so you could only play half-court. It was not thought lady-like to play full-court. Lay-ups were prohibited, and as I recall, she had to wear gloves (Laughter) and you had to wear long pants, you couldn't wear shorts.
ECK: (laughter) What a different age.
MONACO: Yes. And I can't find the picture of her out there. We used to have a picture of her playing . . . actually playing basketball there, but I can't find it. So that's the background. My father actually went to Dent Elementary School, which is now where Capitol Hill Day School is. And then I will be quite frank, he didn't stay in school too much long after elementary school, that's when the Depression set in, and he started roaming the world, literally roaming the world.
ECK: What was his employment?
MONACO: Well it . . .
MONACO: It was . . . because of the Depression, the oncoming Depression which as I recall started in '29. So my father would have been 15, my grandfather -- my father was one of 12 children, actually 13, 12 of whom lived. And my grandfather said you're going to have to get out and find some work. So my father had a buddy, and he and -- they went to Las Vegas, they actually went to Las Vegas and I got a couple of pictures of him in Las Vegas. And California, he actually worked in a restaurant in Los Angeles in the early 1930s. Then he came back, then he joined the Marine Corps and was stationed here.
ECK: At Eighth and I?
MONACO: At Eighth and I, it was his initial assignment but he also had . . . this is not too much about Capitol Hill but the answer is the Marine Corps sent him to Shanghai, for 13 months and here you are talking about a late teenager, early 20s, spending 13 months in Shanghai, and my father to the day he died maintained that Shanghai was the greatest city in the world. He was at that time, of course, there was a lot of tension between the Japanese . . . and the Chinese, and so my father tells me there was the French military unit, the U.S. military unit in the center, and the Japanese were on the right. And the Japanese and Americans didn't get along too well. But in any event though . . .
ECK: And he, how long was he stationed at Eighth and I?
MONACO: Well it was his initial assignment, and his last assignment before he got out was for about six or seven months and they wanted him to sign on for another two or three years and they would say he could stay at Eighth and I. But he said no . . .
ECK: And they had Barracks there?
MONACO: Yeah, it's the parade ground everything. I mean -- the basic unit of the Marine Corps including the Commandant's house, that was all there, even when he was there. He even used the cleaners which is still there. At the corner of, what's it, Eighth and I.
ECK: Right at -- ?
MONACO: Yes, it's still there.
ECK: Navy Yard cleaners.
MONACO: That's where he used to take his stuff to be cleaned, his Marine Corps uniforms, to be cleaned
ECK: Was -- did they used to have a parade there?
MONACO: They had parades as they do now. I assume still have them. I think it's every Friday night.
MONACO: They still do. They had it there and of course when he was stationed there, he was involved in the parades. Yeah.
ECK: Oh, fascinating.
MONACO: So he did. I also had a couple of aunts and uncles who used to -- even in their older days used to go to parade every Friday night. They would come down go to the parades every Friday night in the 50s and 60s and 70s. 80s.
ECK: Did they socialize on Eighth Street like it's now -- you know with restaurants?
MONACO: Oh, I see what you're saying. No. No, as I -- what little I remember from my father is no. Good question, and the answer [question] is was Eighth Street the hang out?, it was not, but I don't know where it was. I really don't. But it was not Eighth Street.
ECK: They didn't -- the market was just the market, the Eastern Market?
MONACO: Yes. The Eastern Market?
ECK: Yes, it was -- was it a place for people hang out?
MONACO: That I don't recall. I do recall my grandmother -- both my grandmothers saying they would go to Eastern Market from time to time. And where they would do some of their shopping, maybe once a week or once a month. Or whenever they got money, got paid or whatever it was. My mother's mother worked for the American Red Cross, and retired from there. My grandmother, my father's mother, was a housewife. So she stayed home and took care of the kids and they supported her, took care of the house at 123 D Street. But I am just trying to think of . . . where my father -- actually that's interesting -- where my father hung out. Now that you've jogged my memory, the 200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. It was a pool hall, upstairs. The store is still there, it used to be, what was it -- it used to be a sandwich place, which I even used to go to when I worked on the Hill. I can't even think what it was called.
ECK: 215 1/2?
MONACO: I don't remember. Of course Sherrill's bakery -- they would go into Sherrill's bakery, even then. From time to time -- my father never really cared for Sherrill's bakery, but a lot of the time they hung out was -- when I was an adult that worked at the Senate and the House as a staff attorney, there was a restaurant there in the 200 block, I can't think of what it was. It was a great restaurant but that was the place they hung out and upstairs was pool hall.
ECK: I recall 215 and 215 1/2 as being -- at one point there was a restaurant at 215 but it was later. Sort of upscale I don't know --
MONACO: No, these were not upscale, actually there were two. The other restaurant, which would have been next to the Exxon station today. That was the other place where bookies used to hang out and everything.
ECK: The Tune Inn?
MONACO: Yeah, the Tune Inn. Yeah, that's the other place they used to hang out. That's where the bookies were . . . and used to come in and exchange money and all the rest. [ed: The Tune Inn is at 331 1/2 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.]
ECK: Run the numbers, was that the numbers? Horses or --
MONACO: Yeah. Usually the numbers, but also horses. Yeah, I forgot it is the Tune Inn is the other place I'm trying to think of . . .
ECK: And . . . was there a . . . where was the horse track? what were they betting on, do you have any recollection?
MONACO: No, my bet is, it was just Maryland. I assumed it was just the Maryland tracks and the New York tracks. But that I don't know.
ECK: And the Exxon, the gas station was always there?
MONACO: You know I don't think so. But I just don't remember that. That is sort of funny. But I just don't remember that. I will tell you now that you -- this again as a kid I will tell you strangely enough and it's coming back. Where we always went shopping, for clothes and everything, H Street NE. And that was where the Atlas Theatre was. We went to the Atlas theater there in addition to -- this is sort of interesting -- you are really bringing back -- because the different -- I insisted, and they allowed me to go to the movies every Saturday. Okay. Now, it happens that at 1217 B Street in the middle of the block is what then used to be called 12 1/2 Street, which is now called 12th Place. Okay?
MONACO: And that was the dividing line; to the right of 12 1/2 was Maury Elementary, to the left were small, and I mean town houses, row town houses, maybe 12 feet wide at most. Usually were -- we now call them African Americans, but black or colored people lived usually for the most part. But if you went down to the dead of that street there was the Home Movie Theater, and that's where I went every Saturday except one time. And here we're talking about April -- probably more detail than you want, April 1945. President Roosevelt died. And my mother and father gave me a quarter, as I recall it was 15 cents to get into the movies and 10 cents for the popcorn. My mother and father gave me 25 cents to go to the movies. And this was Saturday afternoon. I went down and the theater was closed. In commemoration of President Roosevelt and services and everything else. And I came back and I got mad at my mother and father because it wasn't supposed to be closed.
ECK: So that would have been like D or E Street NE.
MONACO: That would have been B. That would have been C Street NE.
ECK: C Street NE.
MONACO: And then if you went down a couple more blocks off Tennessee Avenue there was the Beverly Hills Theatre -- Beverly Theatre, which was the other place I could go to. That was about five blocks from my house. At then the other one was the Atlas Theatre. Oh, and the other one was -- my father went to was the Avenue Grand which is now . . . the medical building [ed. 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE]
ECK: Penn Theatre?
MONACO: I'm sorry that was the Penn Theatre. But across from that was the Avenue Grand.
ECK: Oh yes, on the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue?
MONACO: Yes, it would have been on the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue and actually that was still an operating theater when we moved back -- we moved back to the hill in '67. I was in the Army in Charlottesville from '64 to '67. We moved back in January -- January 12, 1967 -- and we used to take our kids to the Avenue Grand until they closed it. Not to mention the Penn Theatre, as well.
ECK: What were those theaters like inside? Were they grand?
MONACO: Actually the Avenue Grand was not. I thought it was sort of crummy. [both laugh] The Penn Theater was always a nice theater, as was the Atlas. And the Home was -- I would call it a neighborhood theater which wasn't great but it wasn't bad, and the Beverly was a nice theater. The other thing you should --
ECK: That was on Tennessee?
MONACO: It was -- I'm trying to remember if it's at Tennessee or where Tennessee dead-ends. And I can't remember. I think it was on the cross street where Tennessee dead-ended. And I don't remember if that was C -- I just don't remember anymore.
MONACO: The other thing which is probably more than you want to know is my godfather, my Uncle Joe, was the chief projectionist for the Palace Theatre for 40 years.
ECK: And where was the Palace Theatre?
MONACO: The Palace Theater was downtown. It was the Columbia, Lowes chain, which was Columbia, the Capital, and the Palace. The Palace was a grand . . . which would have been what H Street, G Street NW. The main shopping area. It was -- the building itself is still there but it's now got a shopping mall -- the basic structure is still there but the Palace Theatre was the grandest, it seated 3200 people. And of course my uncle being the chief projectionist, I got in free whenever I wanted. And they also had -- not Capitol Hill -- they did a lot of things there. They had for example, they had ballet, they had Broadway shows, they had everything. They could do anything there.
ECK: And that was the entertainment area, so people from Capitol Hill would go down there?
MONACO: A lot of time they would go to the Columbia Theater which was the smallest, was crummy. The Capital and the Palace were great theaters. They seated 2500 or 3000 or something like that, and they were just magnificent. The huge stairway that you went down, gilded stair rails and the whole bit. And two or three balconies and the whole bit; that was really something amazing.
ECK: And that was G Street?
MONACO: I am trying to think what that main shopping -- that wasn't G Street.
ECK: What about F?
MONACO: It was either F or G. And it may have been F; it probably was F. And the Columbia was maybe at 12th, between 11th and 12th on F. And then the Capital and then the Palace, down near 14th Street. Yeah that's probably it.
ECK: Did the Warner, come later?
MONACO: No. the Warner was always there. We used to go to the Warner not too much, but we did go. I went to the Warner Theater and what did I see. The first Cinemascope picture -- oh, The Robe. [both laugh] I am pretty sure that was the first place they showed Cinemascope and it was at the Warner Theater. I forgot about the Warner Theater. But you are right. Let's see. I'm just trying to think about -- back to Capitol Hill.
ECK: Back to Capitol Hill yes. Were there ethnic -- you talked about the African-American enclave. Were there other ethnic enclaves in your neighborhood?
MONACO: That's the only one to be quite frank that I remember. Should I -- different enclaves of African Americans, black Americans -- that's the only one I really remember at all. I don't remember -- I just remember whites and blacks to be quite frank. And that's the way -- and that was it. There were -- I was just trying to think -- I was just trying to think. The other thing was further down Constitution Avenue in the 1300 block was -- were a number of stores including a cleaners and a High's. That's where we went a lot of time for milk and bread, the High's.
ECK: A dairy store?
MONACO: Yes, High's dairy store. And I'm just trying to think of where else. Obviously, Maury Elementary [school] was segregated at the time. And I really don't remember where the blacks went to school. I will also tell you where we were, being Roman Catholic, at that point we went to Holy -- my father and I and our kids were all baptized at St. Peter's, which is where my father was baptized, at St. Peter's. But at that time since we were located at 1217 B, we were within Holy Comforter. And Holy Comforter was almost (all) white. I will tell you occasionally in the back rows we would have black Catholic families come in and sit down. But there was St. Cyprian's, which was only a block away. Which St. Cyprian's at that time was the black Roman Catholic Church. And then of course it's now, they have been combined and it's now called Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian's.
ECK: That happened in the 50s?
ECK: Were you still living there in the 50s? No?
MONACO: No. We had moved out to the suburbs by then.
ECK: Oh really?
MONACO: Yeah, more than you want to know.
MONACO: We lived at 1217. At 1219 B Street, the valet to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court moved in. He was a black man. And my grandmother after a couple of years thought it was time to move. And at that time, a real estate agent came by and went up and down the block, and offered to buy all the houses, at a good price, at the time. I won't say a great price, but a good price. And so my grandmother decided to take his offer and we moved.
ECK: And when was that?
ECK: 1948. And did a lot of other neighbors also sell?
MONACO: Yes, and that's when the neighborhood, shall I say for the most part became integrated. A number of black families but not completely, I mean as I recall the state even mixed blacks and whites at that time but there clearly were a lot of black families who bought and moved in. Yeah.
ECK: And were they middle class?
MONACO: Generally speaking my impression was they were middle class. And I mean they were buying houses and that meant that they had to have some money. And from my point of view . . .
ECK: Did you know anything about them? Maybe where they worked or where they had come from?
MONACO: No. My only bet was obviously the one next store to us who . . . he was obviously paid by the Federal government and since he was chief valet to the Chief Justice. I am assuming that he got a decent salary probably not great but a decent salary. Good enough to buy a house at 1219. Because as I recall he bought, he didn't rent. And I'm just assuming there were other . . .
ECK: And, so you moved to the suburbs, what suburb?
MONACO: Prince George's County.
ECK: And were there a lot of your neighbors, did they tend to group, did they tend to go to the same area, or did they scatter?
MONACO: No, no. To my knowledge where we moved to there was nobody from Capitol Hill that we knew of anyway.
ECK: So, it wasn't sort of a mass exodus to the same place?
MONACO: To the same place, no. Absolutely not, no. I mean it was also -- part of it was to be quite frank, President Truman ordered the integration of the Army near the end of World War II, as I recall it. Which meant not only integration but also -- it also had an impact obviously on Capitol Hill or all of Washington DC and there was a --
END OF TAPE 1/SIDE 1
TAPE 1/SIDE 2
MONACO: It just seemed to me that . . .
ECK: Go ahead.
MONACO: The impact of World War II, integration of the Army and the development, how shall I say it, the change in the social structure within Washington DC, and the whole metropolitan area began to me as a result of World War II. And then, of course, with the Supreme Court decision in '54, having a tremendous impact in the ordering of integration in schools and so forth. And of course it did a complete . . . to me took the next major step in integration of the community. Of course it also meant that a lot of whites were fleeing to the suburbs for a lot of reasons. Some was integration or not wanting to mix with black people but the other one had to do with money, getting space and time and better jobs.
ECK: And there was the FHA and things like that, was that stimulating the movement?
MONACO: Yeah, the movement, sure. Absolutely, you mean home financing and the whole bit. There is no doubt about it.
ECK: OK, let see . . .
MONACO: I guess we can sort of jump to when we came back to Capitol Hill in '67. We [ed: he and his wife] bought a house at 1006 D Street SE, and that's where we moved to after I got out the Army. We stayed there from '67 to '72, when we moved to 123 C Street SE. The house at 1006 D Street needed a fair amount of work which we did over a period of years. The neighborhood was integrated, obviously, and I am just trying to think of . . . I was working . . . a staff attorney on the Senate side at that time. So . . . and of course we were there during the riots of 1968, in which we really had almost . . . we had no trouble as far as the riots. Again, more than you probably want to know, my father drove in from Maryland . . . he was . . . they lived . . . they had a house behind the University of Maryland in College Park, and he drove in and came to pick us up, and my wife and I said no, we are not going anyplace, we are staying here. [both laugh] He got a little pissed and went back home.
ECK: This was the same day of the -- I don't know, the assassination of -- I mean the riots occurred the day after or something was like April --
MONACO: It was in April of '68, yeah. Right.
ECK: Like the first day or something.
MONACO: Yeah, yeah. And there was a lot of rioting. I shouldn't say rioting. There was a lot of looting and breaking into stores, all the stores in -- along Pennsylvania Avenue SE were broken into and cleaned out, no doubt. We were just not affected at all, to be quite frank.
ECK: This is when you were on C Street?
MONACO: No, this is when we were on 1006 D Street SE, yeah. I don't think anything happened on the 100 block of C Street. I don't think anything there . . .
ECK: Did anything happen on Eighth Street, do you recall?
MONACO: Yeah, yeah, the stores. The stores would have been, I mean any of the stores around Eighth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue were broken into.
ECK: Looting. But . . .
MONACO: Looting, I mean there were crowds of people who, groups of people, let me put it this way. I guess -- I think the newspapers did call it a riot but I didn't look at it (that way). Maybe downtown you probably could call that a riot area but I don't recall, I just recall groups of, from what I could learn, groups of looters. As I said we were not personally affected one way or the other. And, of course, where we were, even on Pennsylvania at that point was all row houses with . . . the Yost house was there and everything so, we didn't . . .
ECK: Yost House where the Restoration Society was?
MONACO: Yeah, where it was, right, yeah.
ECK: And what was that address? Just to remind me. Was it right at Tenth and Pennsylvania?
MONACO: No, it was the second or third house in.
MONACO: And it's funny because Mrs. Yost was alive. Mrs. Yost knew my father, strangely enough. She was a teacher as I recall. Now, these things sort of come back to you. But Mrs. Yost knew my father. And I think she may -- she taught him, at Dent, I think. And she was still there, of course her husband had died a number of years before and she decided she wanted to make a gift to the . . . and of course we worked out a deal with her, a good deal with her, on the sale of the house.
ECK: So it was because of your connection with her and with the Restoration Society?
MONACO: Probably, yeah and she of course knew about the Restoration Society. She may have even been a member as I recall. But . . . yeah.
ECK: The Restoration Society began in . . .
MONACO: 1958 . . .'57.
MONACO: Let's say . . . actually I think technically speaking '55. Yeah, I think 1955, that was Curley Boswell who was in the unit block of D Street SE. And Arline Roback who lived at 121 C Street SE. They were involved in the organization of the first meeting. I think Curley Boswell actually was the prime mover as I recall.
ECK: So . . .
MONACO: This is before my time obviously. But this is from what Curley and . . . because I knew Curley . . . I met Curley and actually Curley Boswell knew my family, my father's family, obviously since he was in the unit block of D Street, and they were in the one hundred block of D Street. But they sort of put the organization together, and then as I recall the first tour was what '57 or '58. I can't remember which. I think it was '58. Yeah, yeah [checking documents] the first tour was in 1958. Yeah.
ECK: 1967 when you came back to the Hill.
MONACO: Right, as I recall it. I don't even remember how I accidentally learned about the Capitol Hill Restoration Society [CHRS]. But I volunteered to drive for the May tour and I drove and I did a few other things, helping out on the May 1967 tour. And Austin Beall, who was a strong -- who was a member of the board of directors of the Restoration Society at the time, came to my house and said, "Larry, we are looking for a candidate to run for President of the Restoration Society. Would you be interested?" And I said let me think about it for a while, and I think I said OK. So, I ran for President. I ran unopposed. And so that's how I got involved quite heavily in the Capitol Hill Restoration Society. And it's funny, I am trying to remember the years I was President. I was President two different times, I think '69 to '71 at that time. [ed: according to CHRS records, Larry Monaco was president from 1969-1971 and from 1983-1987.] Austin Beall. I said Austin I'll do it on one condition. You be my membership chair. And Austin agreed, and that's when we hit, not quite, 2,000 members. I think it was the peak that we ever had. He did a super job before me.
ECK: He was president prior to you?
MONACO: No, it was Norm Bredeson and I am trying to think . . . and that's funny, someplace I know there is a list of the presidents but I think he, Austin, was the President before Norm Bredeson, in effect I think it went Austin, Norm Bredeson, me, and then Peter Powers. [ed: according to CHRS records, the presidents of that time period were Austin Beall (1962-1964), James Hodgson (1964-1966), Edward Gruis (1966-1967), Norman Bredeson (1967-1969), Lawrence Monaco (1969-1971), and Peter Powers (1971-1974).]
And when I decided not to run again, I asked Peter Powers who . . . at that time until the day he died, I think was -- no, no, no, he retired. He was the first and only general counsel of the Smithsonian Institution, until the day he retired. And so Peter took over as president for me. I obviously stayed heavily involved in different ways. I chaired the zoning committee from time to time. The historic district, I mean city planning . . . Peter, I'll be quite frank. Peter was the one, especially Hazel Kreinheder. I told you. Hazel Kreinheder was the big pusher and did most of the work for Peter by that time . . . for Peter . . . or the Restoration Society on getting historic district legislation enacted and also then getting us a historic district. She did most of the work. Peter Powers obviously he had some connections too.
ECK: The legislation would have been from the Congress?
MONACO: Yeah, as I recall it. It was from the Congress.
ECK: Not the City Council? So it was almost like a national . . .
MONACO: You know, you are right. No, now that I think of it. The National Capital Planning Commission had to have some sort of organizational structure. But you are right, I think it was . . . you are right, it was the City Council enacted historic district legislation for the city. You are right, yeah, I pretty sure that's what happened.
ECK: So, there was already like federal legislation that allowed it?
MONACO: Yeah, because there was federal legislation to designate historic places and districts. OK. And that was vested in the National Capital Planning Commission. And you are right, then we needed the -- a piece of legislation for the District of Columbia. And now that you say that, Mike, I sort of remember, I think, yeah here it is [looking at documents] . . . and you still had to go to the joint -- yeah, it was District legislation I am pretty sure. And then you had to go to the Joint Commission . . . what is this called the Joint Commission, the Joint Committee on Landmarks of the National Capital to make a recommendation on whether to make the historic district. To be quite frank . . . some of this detail I just don't remember anymore. But . . .
ECK: Did that happen during your term?
MONACO: No, this happened after my term with Peter and after that. This happened over a period of years. So . . .
ECK: Were there any significant things that you recall during your presidency of the Restoration Society?
MONACO: Um, well the only one thing that they were hinting at, the DC government was hinting at, was tearing down Eastern Market. [laughter] And so we started that . . . again I give a lot of credit to Peter Powers on that one but . . . because it really got going but afterwards. We had meetings because I was zoning chair at different times and different things like that. So, we would have meetings and finally the DC government agreed to go in for renovation which was the, shall I say the first renovation which wasn't a lot. But it certainly turned it around, upgraded the outside stalls, and also allowed -- brought the health requirements more up-to-date for the vendors inside. And, I mean it wasn't a major renovation in sense of the later one. And the one of course that just happened because of the fire.
ECK: The later one being?
MONACO: Well, here I am talking about the one, the recent one just completed.
ECK: Yeah, OK.
MONACO: I mean there was some renovation from time to time but back then there . . . to be quite frank originally Eastern Market one . . . the easy way out for them was to condemn it and knock it down because obviously health codes were not . . . even the vendors in, the sellers . . . agreed that it was not acceptable. And so they did put sufficient money in and I don't remember how much money to upgrade to at least meet minimum standards for health standards.
ECK: Were there any significant players in the city government that you recall that were involved in this?
MONACO: No, I do not recall that, I really don't. I will tell you one of the vendors inside was Glasgow. The Glasgow brothers who had two or three of the stands, not to mention plus one of the grandsons who opposed the Restoration Society because he represented plaintiffs all the time in zoning matters. So we were always opposed. But this was the one issue we all agreed on. [both laugh] The upgrade of Eastern Market so that the Glasgow family could keep their three stalls inside the Eastern Market. And they did a good job. I mean I don't take . . . but Norman Glasgow was . . . Norman Glasgow and his son were always opposed to us. We opposed them on a great number of different zoning matters. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not. So . . .
ECK: So he was a lawyer, Norman Glasgow was a lawyer . . .
MONACO: And his son. . .
ECK: Zoning. Did they have offices on the Hill and . . .
MONACO: No, as I recall their offices were downtown. They were in the general practice of law but they had a lot of zoning cases.
ECK: And generally was zoning for residential or was it commercial or . . .
MONACO: It was mixed, yeah. I mean, you know, like . . . you know theoretically you can't go upstairs. I mean one of the cases . . . actually the McDonald's . . . [laughter] Mr. Fahey was the zoning administrator at that time and to be quite frank . . . they would always petition . . . this is along the commercial strip on Pennsylvania Avenue.
MONACO: They would -- commercial to extend, to expand or allow the commercial area to go upstairs. We opposed it. You could only have the commercial on the first floor under the zoning regs. We would oppose it. So what they came up with was . . . and it was permitted . . . is it only applied to going upstairs. It didn't apply to going downstairs. That' s why the McDonald's sits down below grade. [laughter]
ECK: [laughter] That's funny.
MONACO: Because they had a right to do it. . .
ECK: The McDonald's in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue?
MONACO: That's right the McDonald's in the 600 block. The other thing I am trying to remember . . . but this would have been the 200 block. Boy, this goes back, boy you're bringing back . . . there was an old Ford motorcar agency . . . OK.
MONACO: Which was taken over by the CIA and the FBI, so when I moved back to the Hill that was a spy place and what I can't remember is where the funeral home was. And this is bad . . .
ECK: In the 200 block of Pennsylvania?
MONACO: And it . . . it was in . . . no it was probably . . . and this is going to be . . . I will find it. Our daughter was actually buried . . . her funeral services were actually at the funeral home. My wife could tell me . . . but it probably . . . 300 block, probably the 300 block. The funeral home . . . the funeral home was always there even when my father was a kid.
ECK: And we are talking about the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue here?
MONACO: Um, yes. We are talking about the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue. That's exactly right. There is a funeral home that had been there . . . again like I said since my father was a kid and it was owned by the same family and I'm trying to think the "Hunterman"? I can't remember the name, I'll have to dig out my files on that one.
ECK: And is that a . . . was that set back a little bit, is that . . . a slight porch?
MONACO: No, it was not.
ECK: The building that was . . .
MONACO: It was not. I would say almost . . . my recollection is it was almost an art deco front. From my . . . I am talking about the late 60s now, and early 70s. My daughter died in 1970, in July. So, 1970 which is when the funeral services were . . . and a few years after that they closed it and it was converted into whoever knows what. Actually . . .
ECK: I think I know the building you are talking about.
MONACO: I would have to go . . . drive down by there. Actually, you asked me earlier about where was my father's hangout. It was Seventh and Pennsylvania Avenue, which is now Mr. Henry's. I can't remember what it was called back when he was there. But that was where they hung out. And the bookies as well. In addition to the Tune Inn. [both laugh] OK.
ECK: OK, two ends of the block: Sixth Street and . . .
MONACO: Yeah, that's right, Tune Inn is there and Mr. Henry's whatever it used to be called before Mr. Henry's, which . . . actually I don't know if you know. Do you know Roberta Flack?
ECK: I know who she is, yeah.
MONACO: Yeah, that's where she got her start, Mr. Henry's.
ECK: Did you know her?
MONACO: No, I did not know her. I did not know her at all. I consider her a great singer. I still got her albums and everything. But she got her start there.
ECK: I believe, she was a DC schoolteacher.
MONACO: Yeah, I think she was too, I think that's right. But . . . I'm just trying to think . . .
ECK: Now that was upstairs, wasn't it? At Mr. Henry's?
MONACO: At that time I think that's right, at that time I think that's right.
ECK: Was that a zoning change? [laughter]
MONACO: Well, but the thing is if you had grandfather rights, it didn't make a lot of difference. But you are right, it was upstairs. As I recall it was upstairs. Yeah, but you probably had grandfather rights anyway on that one. So . . . but that is funny because I do remember my father saying they haven't got a lot at that place whatever it was called.
ECK: Was it a restaurant, or a bar?
MONACO: Yeah, it was a bar, really a restaurant bar, yeah. Because all the places like that were, so. But I am also trying to think of what else was going on. We have hit a lot of the places actually . . . the different stores. I will say during the time I was president we didn't have specifically other than the quote, the threat of the closing of the Eastern Market. We didn't have much of that. We . . . actually were . . . it was -- we were more concerned at that time with getting, to be quite frank, spending a lot of time on zoning and as I recall . . . Dick Wolf was . . . he chaired the zoning committee for me back then as well as city planning. And what we were doing was really trying to concentrate our forces and get more refined on zoning matters, city planning matters and laying the groundwork, and to be quite frank, membership. We were trying to develop membership and we did.
ECK: And so the Restoration Society . . . I mean they were most concerned with zoning, the things to protect the neighborhood?
MONACO: That's correct.
ECK: That's why you were emphasizing those things?
MONACO: That's right. It was to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood. I don't -- before I came back, of course, which is only a couple of years before I came back. And Dick Wolf will know this one. Because you know the freeway was to go down 11th Street. [laughter]
ECK: Right, right.
MONACO: And they fortunately got that stopped. And it became a divider, obviously where it is now. It divides the south side and north side. Though there is more and more integration of that now, even though the freeway is still there. But it clearly was a boundary, but it would have taken Capitol Hill and split it right down the middle. I mean it really would have . . . and Dick Wolf and his buddies and all the people of the Restoration Society do deserve major credit for stopping that.
ECK: Peter Glickert?
MONACO: Peter Glickert is also.
ECK: Was he involved?
MONACO: Yes, yes.
ECK: I didn't know Peter but I've heard the name.
MONACO: Yes Peter Glickert was.
ECK: Was he involved with Restoration Society?
MONACO: Yeah, yeah. And of course, Dick Wolf lived in, as you know, on 11th Street and it would have gone right down [laughter]
ECK: It would have taken his house probably.
MONACO: Probably taken the front of his house, that's exactly right. Yeah. But, I mean just to wipe that block out would have been incredible. Fortunately that happened before I got here. So . . .
ECK: And that would have been the northeast connector.
ECK: Apparently, that . . .
MONACO: That's correct.
ECK: Instead of the one that goes past the Capitol and underneath . . .
MONACO: Underneath the Massachusetts [Avenue] to . . . yeah that's right.
ECK: That was the compromise maybe?
ECK: We . . . were you involved?
MONACO: I don't remember exactly what that was. That was true though. Because even that one, the underground connector didn't get built for a quite a while. As a matter of fact that didn't get built . . . Let see, my wife and I were in Georgetown Law School which was down at Fifth and E NW, in row townhouses. That's where the Georgetown Law School always was until it was moved to the campus where it is now, which is where that underground goes. And that's . . . it wasn't until then that underground was actually even opened and completed. To the extent it is.
ECK: Oh, so you are saying that Georgetown law was at Fifth and E, and maybe the connector went . . .
MONACO: No, it wasn't there. It actually didn't get built until the time that Georgetown moved to where it is now.
ECK: Which is at New Jersey?
MONACO: Which is at New Jersey and . . .
ECK: And Massachusetts.
MONACO: Yeah, New Jersey and Massachusetts. It wasn't there. See my wife in law school was at 35 E Street NW, which is around the corner from where the campus is now, where Georgetown Law School is now. And that's where we got . . . we lived there for a while until I got -- I went into the Army. A short while and moved to Charlottesville[his Army assignment location]. But the answer is that connector was not completed until way after that. To the extent you even want to call it completed even to this day. I never did.
ECK: Right, right.
MONACO: But at least you can get to New York Avenue and everything else now. Back then you couldn't.
ECK: Ok, that would have been 1967?
MONACO: I . . . that connector, no? I think it was in the 70s or early 80s. I am trying to remember when the Georgetown campus . . . we were at Georgetown Law School through '63. That campus didn't move until the late 70s, I think, 1970 . . . where that campus is now, until the late 70s. Which is about the time of the construction there, was done for that underground.
ECK: I see.
ECK: I don't have a recollection.
MONACO: What I am trying to remember is . . . it was connected through . . . probably it was open always to the Senate. No it wasn't either, that was . . . later too. I am trying to remember. But yeah we were doing a lot. And of course the other thing which we haven't mentioned which is the Southeast Citizens Association.
ECK: Ah, yes. I remember the name.
MONACO: And I am trying to remember the name of the lady. I used to . . . she used to call me up and I used to go over to her house and visit her all the time. And I don't even remember where that it now. But the answer is . . . the Capitol Hill Restoration Society . . . one of the reasons it decided . . . to be organized was anything that used to the word "citizens" was white. Anything that used "civic" or didn't use either word could be integrated. OK, and from the very beginning the Capitol Hill Restoration Society was open to anybody. The old Southeast Citizens Association originally was part of the Washington DC Citizens Association, which was white only. Now, after a number of years of course they opened their doors to anybody. But they still were stuck with the label that you were a white only organization. And was the other reason why the Capitol Hill Restoration Society . . . to be quite frank was needed. Even though we were charged from time to time with being a white organization, we really -- you heard that from time to time but not a lot. And we had always been open to any race. We never . . . we never cared, to my knowledge, I never heard anybody care what race you were in order to be a member of the Restoration Society.
ECK: And did you have a lot of black members or . . .
MONACO: No, we, I don't think we've ever had a lot of black . . . I don't think we've ever had a lot of black members. We've always had some but we have never had a lot.
ECK: And did the Restoration Society have a location? You talked about the Yost House before, when did you acquire that . . .?
MONACO: No . . . 70s, I really don't remember. I do have . . . I had a file on the Yost House, but I really don't remember when it was. But the answer is, we, like a lot of civic organizations, operated out of people's houses. You know, I was the president and I operated out of my house.
ECK: Did you have a post office box . . . or a . . .?
MONACO: Yeah, we, generally speaking. Even at the beginning we didn't even have a post office box. Yeah, after a while . . . pretty soon after the . . . we did have a post office box, which we did use . . . Post Office Box 15064, as I recall.
ECK: How did you communicate to people? How did the word get out, at the time?
MONACO: It was all mail, or door to door, or phones.
ECK: Phone chain?
MONACO: Yeah, phone chain, we even . . . which is . . . that's true, we even tried . . . though it didn't work too well Austin was good at trying to put things together like this. And Austin came up with the phone chain idea. It didn't work too well but we did use it. But it didn't work too well. Because of course if one . . . if you had ten captains and one captain wasn't in town you had to find somebody to take his chain. I mean things like that.
ECK: And did you have to move fast on some of these zoning cases?
MONACO: On zoning generally speaking, we fortunately and usually there was a 30 or 60-day delay. But even then the answer is yeah. You know, the Restoration Society Board of Directors met monthly, generally speaking. And the zoning committee had to meet and make recommendations to the Board and the whole bit. And yeah we generally speaking . . . part of the problem of course in the old days, probably even to some extent was to get the word out to the neighbors. I mean I remember from time to time even around this neighborhood when you had one or two zoning matters I would make a hundred copies of a leaflet or flyer and say -- you know drop it off., put it in your mail . . . couldn't put it in your mailbox. You had to put it underneath a pad or something to say that the Restoration Society is going to consider . . . you got the zoning case even though it's posted outside, a lot, neighbors didn't pay any attention to.
MONACO: Restoration Society zoning committee is going to take this up, do you have an opinion? Here is a phone number or come by.
ECK: And that was before Xerox, copy machines . . .?
MONACO: We had some sort of copy machines, I mean . . .
MONACO: We had mimeos and then we also had the wet faxes. When fax machines started out they were wet . . . which was a pain in the neck. But that was it so . . .
ECK: Were there any . . . large zoning cases that you recall?
MONACO: Not -- yeah the biggest over the years, the biggest zoning case, one of the biggest ones would have down here . . .
ECK: Potomac Avenue?
MONACO: Potomac Avenue, the high-rise case and Beau Bogan . . . and Beau Bogan, yeah. Because as I recall that was R-5 or he was seeking R-5 zoning. Again, I don't even remember a lot of the details. But that was the biggest one. And to some extent we won and we lost, but the answer is, generally speaking, we did stop putting in a high rise there. Of course, he got even with us by putting in a car wash, which he could have gotten away with on the Pennsylvania Avenue side because of commercial zoning. But the answer is he wanted to put in a five or six, I can't remember, a five or six story high rise.
END OF TAPE 1/SIDE 2
TAPE 2/SIDE 1
ECK: Bogan, you were saying, was trying to put in a five story high rise?
MONACO: I think it was it was at least a five story . . .
ECK: . . . an office building, is that correct?
MONACO: I think it was a combination, office and condos, or rental units, I just don't remember enough of the detail. But the answer is it was way out of proportion. We said no you can get it with all that land . . . you can bring it into conformity. I was going to . . . also thinking . . . talking about other zoning cases, because, of course, the DC government . . . the DC school population was going down, considerably. So the DC government from time to time, the Board of Education was closing a lot of schools. The first big one and I can't think of the one over in Northeast. They were thinking of tearing that down and converting it to commercial, and we said, why don't you just convert that to condos or apartment units and they did . . .
ECK: Was that Lovejoy Elementary?
MONACO: Yeah, the Lovejoy, that's right. [ed: Later in this transcript, Monaco corrects the name of the school he's discussing; it is actually Carbery School.] And then, of course we had the other one down here. Down the corner from where my son, my oldest son lives. The 300 block of G, which became a gym.
MONACO: Giddings, Giddings OK.
ECK: OK, Giddings School. That is now Results.
MONACO: Yeah, it's now Result. But they agreed that they didn't need to tear them down or sell them for commercial purposes or . . . I mean in effect they did sell them, but they kept the structure there and . . .
ECK: Would that have been the early 70s?
MONACO: Uh-huh, yeah.
ECK: I worked for the DC schools at that time.
MONACO: Oh you did.
ECK: For the buildings and grounds department. . .
MONACO: Oh, you did. Oh is that right?
ECK: That's why I know those two buildings.
MONACO: Oh, you do know them.
ECK: Only generally.
MONACO: I mean the other one was to this day I think it hasn't been resolved or it's up again is Tyler. Tyler used to . . .
ECK: Tyler is south here . . . 11th and G or 10th and G.
MONACO: What's the one down in . . . Independence? Oh, no, where'd you say Tyler was?
ECK: At 10th and G SE.
MONACO: That is Tyler, I keep thinking I'm in 100 C Street. [Laughter]
ECK: Right, you are at 11th Street . . .
MONACO: Yeah, I am talking about Tyler. Yeah.
ECK: Tyler is no longer . . . the Marines are looking for . . . for possibly . . .
MONACO: I saw that, I saw that, the Marines are looking for it.
ECK: But generally Tyler apparently is a . . . quite a popular school these days. And so it seems like there's community support to not close Tyler
MONACO: OK, because a number of times the DC government was or the Board of Education was talking about selling that off a few times. And then it always came back. So, I mean, it never happened which probably a good thing. Actually, to me, that was one of the first I remember . . . starting back.
ECK: Bryan School is, I don't know, whether you were thinking of Bryan, but . . .
MONACO: Where's Bryan?
ECK: At Independence and . . .
MONACO: I am thinking of Bryan . . .
ECK: Yeah, near Kentucky.
MONACO: That is the other one I am thinking of. It is Independence and Kentucky. Yeah.
ECK: Well, that's a condo.
MONACO: That's a condo now, right.
ECK: It's been turned into a condo.
MONACO: Right, that's like the other one . . . right.
ECK: Yeah, Lovejoy is . . . I believe is a condo.
MONACO: Yeah, I've been . . . actually, I went . . . worked with the DC government and I'm trying to remember who the architect on that . . . It was the guy who was on New Jersey Avenue whose wife . . . the husband was a real estate guy . . . I can see his face . . . his wife . . . because they got the contract on that one too.
ECK: On Lovejoy?
MONACO: No, yeah, or was that Amy . . . Weinstein?
ECK: No, I don't think so. I don't know, it could have been Amy. Amy did Lovejoy . . . Abdo at Bryan.
MONACO: Oh, no, no down there. But it . . . because I actually . . . yeah it was Amy because I actually went through . . . I went over there and visited every couple of weeks to see how they were doing. I thought they were excellent, the condos they did there, so.
ECK: And there was . . . was the Restoration Society involved with the Carbery School building?
ECK: On Fifth Street NE?
MONACO: Actually, I don't mean Lovejoy, it is Carbery.
ECK: Carbery, OK.
MONACO: It is Carbery, that I am thinking of. That was the first one [we talked about today]. I even thought I had a file here on that one. Yes.
ECK: So that's at Fifth and . . . north of Stanton Park?
MONACO: North of Stanton Park, yeah. Carbery is the first one that I remember and that's the one I went through and I am pretty sure that was Amy and I went . . . I actually worked with her . . . she was very good about it. She would call me up and say Larry, do you want to go through, and see what we are doing and not doing? And I said yeah.
ECK: Ah, hah, so the Restoration Society . . .
MONACO: But we got involved in all of them. Lovejoy too, as . . . yeah.
ECK: So the boundaries for the Restoration Society were pretty . . . pretty far at times . . . going north.
MONACO: Yeah, we kept . . . well even the original historic district . . .
ECK: Yeah, that's . . .
MONACO: OK, it goes over to Union Station . . . so that it would have been within our boundaries . . . historic district boundaries too. Because, I am trying to remember. I just don't . . . I didn't keep up . . . and I . . . didn't look at the file . . . but the answer is yeah. We kept expanding the territory, as I recall we made it equal to and then we even went beyond the historic district boundaries, in a couple of cases, now.
ECK: In terms of your zoning interest or the . . . Restoration Society's . . .
MONACO: I think the boundaries for the Restoration Society is set forth in the by-laws. I mean, we kept expanding, and as I recall the big one was to make it conform with . . . yeah because one of the problems even in the historic district was . . . whether or not certain areas were within the boundaries of the Restoration Society and whether we could even say anything. And so what we did was expand the boundaries of the Restoration Society to match the historic district.
ECK: Or what you wanted for the historic district?
MONACO: And you're right. What we wanted for the historic district. Yeah, right. And you are right because our boundaries as I recall are still . . . well it goes down to Barney Circle.
ECK: Oh, yes, I think the Restoration Society . . . stop . . .
MONACO: We, expanded it down to the . . . down to Barney Circle.
ECK: And they are talking about making a historic district out of Barney Circle.
MONACO: Yes, I did see that too, yeah. Which -- that also reminds me of another thing: the streetcars. The streetcars circled around Lincoln Park.
ECK: So there were tracks around Lincoln Park?
ECK: On East Capitol Street?
MONACO: Uh-huh. On both sides of Lincoln Park, it went . . . actually you could circle around. I am trying to remember because you had to be careful what line you got on. Because one time my grandmother would tell me make sure you get on the right . . . marked right one, because one of the lines circled around Lincoln Park. The other one went down to Barney Circle, circled around and came back, up around Lincoln Park.
ECK: Wait, down to Barney Circle?
MONACO: As I recall, sure.
ECK: On Kentucky Avenue?
MONACO: I don't even remember. I just assumed it went straight down East Capitol?
ECK: . . . or on Massachusetts Avenue?
MONACO: No, it went down . . . right.
ECK: Well, Barney Circle would be at . . . Pennsylvania, south of Congressional Cemetery, Pennsylvania and the River.
MONACO: Yeah, as a matter of fact, that's right and I am not quite sure how . . . that's right. One line . . . and I am trying to remember how they hooked up. No, you are right because even when we came back here in '67, the streetcar tracks were still down the middle, the median strip of Pennsylvania Avenue. And then what they did was they came in and covered it over . . . with macadam or something and then they finally got the money to make it into plants, trees.
ECK: Wow, I don't even remember that.
MONACO: I do, yeah.
ECK: Right now it's controversial as to whether they put in overhead wires or not. How were . . .
MONACO: No doubt about it . . . under . . . I remember that one. It was . . . around Lincoln Park it was underneath.
ECK: No overhead wires around Lincoln Park.
MONACO: Right, and when you got further down, I think they even stopped the streetcars to go overhead, if I remember correctly.
ECK: Further down . . .?
MONACO: Downtown, I am trying to remember . . . and see . . . I don't even remember where it went. I don't even remember where it went after we got on. I mean I would always get on, on what would be the south side. Yeah, our side, right.
ECK: Wait a minute, the south side . . .
MONACO: No, that would be the north side.
ECK: Yeah, that would be the north side. It would be headed downtown.
MONACO: That's right it would be on the north side. But I just can't remember. For some reason I think you're right. I think it went around Lincoln Park and then down Massachusetts Avenue. I think, I just don't remember.
ECK: Yeah It must have connected to the car barns which was associated of course with that.
ECK: Where's the car barn at. They are condos now at 15th.
ECK: Or something like that, close to Holy Comforter.
MONACO: Yeah, and that's why the line went down. That's the line I am thinking about. Because you could either go straight around . . . or it went. Yeah, you are right I forgot about the car barn, yeah. Because the other thing was . . . it could branch off on . . . what would be the east end of Lincoln Park, and go down to the car barn, on East Capitol Street?
ECK: Yes, that's where the car barn is.
MONACO: Yeah, that's exactly what happened. Because it was the car barn which was . . . Oh that is right it did go down East Capitol Street, because it was across the street from Holy Comforter, Saint -- Holy Comforter. That's right.
ECK: And then . . .
MONACO: And then they went in . . . they went in. The streetcars and buses went in there and parked.
ECK: That was the end of the line.
MONACO: That was the end of the line, yeah.
ECK: So, they came up from Barney Circle?
MONACO: No, I am trying to think, maybe Barney Circle was completely different.
MONACO: I am pretty sure that's probably true. Again, I don't remember enough of that. But you are right I forgot about the car barn. But the car barn was where you went.
ECK: And what was . . . what about RFK stadium, as long as we are at that end of East Capitol Street. Do you recall what was there?
MONACO: During WWII, it was temporary government housing for dependents of military personnel. And it was hilly. And then after WWII it was cleaned out.
ECK: So, those were wooden buildings the standard tempo buildings?. . .
MONACO: I don't know if they were wooden . . . I don't know if it was wooden or vinyl or something like that but yeah. Yes, two or three story buildings. Yes.
ECK: Uh huh.
MONACO: Ok, it was cleaned out and sort of leveled . . . as I recall it was hilly.
ECK: Do you remember that being built?
MONACO: No, I don't really remember it being built. I remember . . . I just have one flash of a memory . . . I remember seeing . . . and I do know that it was WWII housing for dependents and military personnel.
ECK: Where RFK is now?
MONACO: Uh huh. And they leveled it off. What I'm trying to remember is then it became Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus was. That's where we went.
ECK: And it was outdoors in a tent?
MONACO: It was outdoors in a tent and that's where they had the fire.
ECK: What fire?
MONACO:As I recall Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey had a bad fire there.
ECK: Sort of a scandal or something?
MONACO: It caught fire, people died I think.
ECK: During a performance?
MONACO: Or after a performance, I can't remember.
ECK: And it was a tent, so it was temporary?
MONACO: Yeah, they would come in for two weeks. And they would parade the elephants up and down East Capitol Street. To the Capitol and back.
ECK: From Union Station?
MONACO: From Union Station and then . . . no . . . down to Barney . . . down to where RFK is now. To where they were going to have the shows.
ECK: From where . . . how did they move. Did they come in by train?
MONACO: Yeah, they came in by train. Right, yeah. What I don't remember is if the train connection was there. That's what I don't remember. For some reason I thought there was a train connection there, but I don't remember.
ECK: At where . . . RFK is?
MONACO: Where . . . yeah, I just don't remember. Probably, and more likely, it was Union Station. And they marched them from there to the Capitol, down East Capitol Street. That's more likely. Down to where RFK is.
ECK: Where RFK is. Now it seems to me the circus has been held at the Arena . . . Arena at the end of East Capitol Street, the National Guard Armory. The Armory I mean.
MONACO: It was held outside.
ECK: Yes, but . . .
MONACO: In a tent but they also used the Armory. And a couple of times I went . . . because I used to go every year.
ECK: Was the Armory there?
MONACO: Yes, the Armory was there.
ECK: As far as you know it was . . .
MONACO: Always there.
ECK: Always there.
MONACO: It was always there. And what I can't remember is after the fire or because the weather was bad, we . . . I actually went to a couple of performances inside the Armory of Ringling Brothers. OK, I do remember that. Because I used to go. My mother and aunts used to take me every year, I used to go every year. And that's funny . . . Ringling Brothers . . . and then it was cleared, and then it was vacant, and then it became RFK.
ECK: And do you remember them . . . well that was probably when they built it.
MONACO: RFK was what, '71?
ECK: Yeah, yeah. [ed: RFK stadium opened in October,1961, as the District of Columbia Stadium.]
MONACO: I was there, my aunt, my godmother was . . . as was my mother, they were baseball nuts. My aunt took me. I was there for opening day. My aunt used to take me to Griffith Stadium all the time. I mean I use to see 30 or 40 Senators game every year.
ECK: Griffith Stadium is off of . . . where is that?
MONACO: It's part of Howard University off of Florida Avenue. Of course, it was demolished by Howard and I assume . . . is classrooms or whatever it is now.
ECK: So . . . it wasn't demolished until RFK was built. I mean they started a transition . . .
MONACO: Yeah, they actually played . . . as I recall Howard actually used to continue to play football games or something there. They may have even used it for baseball . . . for a couple of years, not much. I mean . . . you know it sat about 30 thousand, 27 to 30 thousand people. Hey, I mean I saw some great games there. It was also where . . . that's also where the Redskins played.
ECK: Oh, OK. So that was a very popular destination.
ECK: Yeah, for Capitol Hill people for football . . .
MONACO: For anybody, for football, baseball. Yeah.
ECK: Were the Redskins a popular team when you were growing up or . . .
MONACO: They were . . . well my father and mother used to go to Redskins games whenever they could. And we have had season tickets. I still have them, for about 60 years. And my father tells this story: he and my mother . . . you know when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it was Sunday. My father and mother were at the Redskin game in Griffith Stadium. And they kept hearing these announcements about Admirals and Generals please call your office. Well they found out why [laughter], real fast. Yeah.
ECK: [laughter] Ah-hah.
MONACO: I saw . . . I mean I saw Joe DiMaggio hit three home runs out of Griffith Stadium. I saw Roger Maris hit the longest home run ever hit.
ECK: Really, that was Griffith Stadium?
MONACO: Uh huh.
ECK: Was it out of the stadium?
MONACO: Yeah, it was way out of the stadium. [laughter]
ECK: [laughter] How exciting. That was Roger Maris.
MONACO: It was way out of the stadium.
ECK: Roger Maris, that really would have been exciting.
ECK: Ok, all right. Where are we here . . .
MONACO: Want to turn it off and then we'll . . .
ECK: Well, that's a ..
MONACO: The pictures I've got . . .
ECK: We're looking at some pictures that Larry brought. . .
MONACO: Yeah, which . . . a number of these pictures are me as a young boy with my mother and my sister among other things. In front of our house at 1217 B Street NE, and we are standing in front of my grandmother's car. [laughter] Ok? That's one of the reasons I brought it. I can't . . . I think that one is Lincoln Park, but I'm not sure. [noise from looking through pictures]. That one I'm not sure of. As I said, I couldn't find it. The other thing is I do have some pictures of the front of my house which I will show . . . this is in -- my grandmother had a park bench below the steps in front of our house. And so that my grandmother is holding my just born baby sister, and me sitting on the park bench in front of 1217 B Street. The other pictures I have are of my father and his -- couple of his brothers and his father in front of 123 D Street SE, and actually that's a picture of 123 D Street SE, with my father in the front. A lot of these labels I put on here cause I know what they are, so.
ECK: That's your father . . . in his Marine . . .
MONACO: That's right . . . that's my father in his Marine uniform and that's his father in the background. And that's his mother there.
ECK: Now D Street, the subway goes . . . the subway tunnel goes under D Street now.
MONACO: It goes about 80 feet underneath.
ECK: Some of those houses collapsed or cracked a little bit?
MONACO: Well they did some cracking, yeah. Of course, they didn't own D Street at that time. They sold it near the end of the 30s, '37, '38, '39. Something like that. And my grandmother stayed with her different children from time to time from then on.
ECK: Do you know people that lived on C and D Street. I am sure you knew them but it seemed like . . . were they? . . . now there are a lot of Hill staffers and congressional offices on C and D.
ECK: In particular . . .
ECK: The thought just came up . . . the so-called C Street house is controversial. [ed: this conversation is about 133 C Street SE]
MONACO: Which is the original convent for St. Peter's, right?
ECK: Ok, that was . . . the convent for St. Peter's . . . for the nuns that taught at St. Peter's School?
MONACO: Uh huh.
ECK: Do you have any other recollection of that building?
MONACO: Other than [laughter] Yeah. As a matter of fact more than you want to know. Ralph Nader bought it. I forgot about it. Ralph Nader bought it . . . and I said . . . I lived in the middle of the block.
ECK: That's back when Ralph Nader was an activist . . .
MONACO: He was very active then. What's-her-name, Joan Claybrook, was his assistant. And Joan Claybrook took it over for him to run a lot of the business of Ralph Nader's Public Interest Groups. And I . . .
ECK: Public Interest Research Groups?
MONACO: Yeah, well his . . . he had a lot of different groups, but I mean you know . . . and they were running and so I challenged it on the grounds that it was a violation of the zoning regulations. The zoning administrator issued a permit and I challenged it saying -- right at that time, it's even true today, though it has been tightened up. There was an exemption for social clubs in the R4 district. And so they claimed that this was social. And I said no it's not. And the Board of Zoning Adjustment agreed with me, as did the Court of Appeals, by the way. We went up to the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals agreed that . . . the Board of Zoning Adjustment said no, social meant social, it didn't mean social in the sense of society . . . benefits to society. It had to be a social club, i.e. a residential type use in effect. And the Court of Appeals agreed.
ECK: In about what time, what year, did this occur?
MONACO: I . . .
ECK: When do you think the nuns moved out?
MONACO: The nuns moved out long before that. I don't remember what . . . when they moved out and who was in there between that . . . the nuns leaving and Ralph Nader. I just don't remember.
ECK: Nader would have been in the 70s?
MONACO: Yeah. I think . . . yeah it would have been in the 70s. I think in the interim it was rented out. It was sold and rented out as an apartment building in effect, which they had grandfathered rights to. And then this had to have been the early 70s . . . No, we moved to C Street in '72, so it had to be in the middle, late 70s. Right. And it didn't happen too long after I was there, too. Because we moved there in '72. 123 C Street SE, in '72. Yeah.
ECK: Did many . . . what was . . . the Library of Congress already there?
MONACO: Interesting, you said . . .
ECK: . . . Madison Building?
MONACO: We moved, as I said, in there in April of '72. OK. We intentionally thought that was great because they had started the Madison Library building about 18 months before that, which meant that the foundation . . . and I don't know if . . . you probably don't. The iron pilings for the Library building go seven stories below the grade. And that was all done when we moved in April of 1972, they had fortunately finished banging in the foundation. [Laughter] Because I don't know if we would have survived the banging. Because, I used to, of course, go by there all the time to go to work. And, I mean, it was a loud banging during the day, to pile-drive iron beams . . .
ECK: Down seven stories?
MONACO: To take them -- carry them down and then go seven stories. I mean they had to dig out . . . they actually dug out five or six stories and drove them in for five stories and drove them in two stories below that or whatever it was. OK. But fortunately, we watched them build the Library building from the ground up. And it was not too disruptive believe it or not. We didn't have a lot of . . . the other thing which probably . . . more than you want . . . we paid in 1972 . . . we paid either 62, 63 thousand dollars. And everybody said Larry you're crazy. Nobody has ever paid that much money for a house on Capitol Hill before.
MONACO: But now, of course, this is an unrestored house now, you have to understand that.
ECK: Is this a four-story house?
MONACO: In effect it was . . . it was in effect four stories. I mean in effect . . . one, two, three. In effect it was a four-story house. The English basement was the fourth story, like I told you. English basement was completely out of the ground on the back side of the house. It was ground level and that's where we walked out the back door which is on . . . in the English basement we had the kitchen, laundry . . . the kitchen, the dining room and the laundry room, as well as utilities. You walked out . . . we had sliding glass doors you walked out and there was the back yard and then we had a garage. And for Capitol Hill that lot was 19 by 120 . . . 19 feet wide by 120 feet deep. Which is extraordinarily large . . . even to this day it's an extraordinarily large lot for Capitol Hill.
MONACO: It more than matches even existing zoning requirements . . . OK. And we even . . . only occupied 57% of the lot, not even 60%. So . . . but the answer is it needed complete restoration and over a period of years we restored it. Including bringing in a new sewer line, new electricity, everything.
ECK: A lot of work.
ECK: But it wasn't -- you didn't seem to have any disruption from the building of the Madison building.
MONACO: No, we really did not.
ECK: And the subway, when the subway went through . . .
MONACO: It went through behind us. We did not. I mean I watched them dig down and do all of that but the answer is it didn't bother us at all.
ECK: The subway occurred . . .what year?
MONACO: I am trying to remember, because I remember watching that. But maybe that was before we moved in.
ECK: It was '72 they built a lot of the subway and maybe a little bit later.
MONACO: Yeah, because it was
ECK: It was . . . the original line
MONACO: There was still construction going on, but . . . let's see from '67 to '74 I worked on the Senate side. So, I had to have been watching it, because '72 was when we moved in. And we were living in 1006 . . .
ECK: Do you remember down on D Street at . . . First, I guess it is, there was a shoemaker? what was his name? Was it Tony?
MONACO: Yes, It was Tony, I remember it.
MONACO: Yes he was Italian. My father knew him, and I knew him. I actually went to him. He was still there when we moved to C Street. And my father knew . . . he of course knew my father's family, all my father's family. He knew them.
ECK: Why? Why would . . .
MONACO: He was Italian and he lived right around the corner. They used him. He was at the corner of First and D, and they lived at 123 D.
ECK: Right. Do you know where he lived?
MONACO: No. I am trying to remember if he lived upstairs or not. That's what I can't remember, if he lived on the second story, second floor.
ECK: I went into that shoe store. I used to take my shoes there and . . . one day a man named Symington came in. I think it was Senator Symington.
MONACO: Probably, Stu Symington.
ECK: I took some great pride in . . . I took my shoes to the same store that Senator Symington . . .
MONACO: And probably was Senator Stuart Symington. Yeah.
ECK: But the . . . that shoemaker was somewhat controversial because the Republican . . . they were trying . . . I guess they were buying up that lot to build the Republican club.
MONACO: Yeah, they were building the Republican . . .
ECK: The Eisenhower Center or something like that.
MONACO: That's right the Republican National Committee Building.
ECK: And he held out for a while.
MONACO: He held out for a long time, yes, considering who he was. And then finally he just . . . I know he sold and I don't know why or any of it. But you are quite right because they have all that land.
ECK: Yeah . . . I think the last time I was in there . . . he said something . . . I got my best price or something.
MONACO: Yeah, he got his best price . . . and actually now that you say that the other shoemaker which we ended up going to was in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.
ECK: Was he Italian?
MONACO: He was Italian, that's where McDonalds went.
ECK: That was a shoe store before McDonald's?
MONACO: It was a combination shoe store and something else. Yeah. Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's where the shoemaker was. Because, that guy was Italian also. And I am trying to think, the guy . . . the barbershop was at the corner of Second . . . no, at the corner of Third . . . it was on . . .
ECK: No, it was at the 200 block . . .
MONACO: It was at the end . . .
ECK: Do you mean Pat?
MONACO: Pat, right
MONACO: That's where I used to go all the time because Pat knew my family too. My father's family.
ECK: But he was Irish? Wasn't he?
END OF TAPE 2/SIDE 1
TAPE 2/SIDE 2
MONACO: Maybe he was, maybe he . . . and Pat the barber and that's where the pool hall was. It was up above . . .
ECK: Above Pat's?
MONACO: Above Pat's. That's where it was. And Pat . . . the original barber I went to was at the corner of Third and Pennsylvania. That was an Italian barbershop. And I am trying to think of that guy. Because he knew my whole family. I went there, then when he sold out and left, then I started going to Pat.
ECK: Pat was Irish?
MONACO: Pat was clearly Irish.
ECK: 215 1/2.
MONACO: That's right it was 215. That's correct. And 215 1/2 was the way to go upstairs to the pool hall. As I recall.
MONACO: As I recall. OK? But yeah, and Pat then when they took . . . bought it . . . bought him out, he moved over to Stanton Park on the corner there which is now a cleaners.
MONACO: Yeah, and Pat actually lived most of his life in Carrollton. I know where he lived.
ECK: His name was Hennessey, I think.
MONACO: Who? Pat.
MONACO: Yeah, I don't remember his last name but I know where he lived, because I went to his house a couple of times. But he lived in Carrollton, Maryland. New Carrollton, yeah, in New Carrollton, Maryland. [ed: Pat's name was Pat Donoghue.]
ECK: He knew a lot of policemen?
MONACO: He knew . . .
ECK: The police used to hang out there.
MONACO: All the time, yes.
ECK: At 215 1/2.
MONACO: Yep, yep, yep. That's exactly right.
ECK: And you said then later the FBI came into that building or . . .
MONACO: No, it was even closer because the bank was on the corner. The Ford dealer was next door to the bank. And that was a flat front. I remember.
ECK: Glass, It was glass front wasn't it?
MONACO: No, I would say ceramic front. It may have even had glass in it, but they covered it over with ceramic or something and the FBI and CIA were in there for a couple of years. And I just can't remember what's there now. It's been too long since I've been away.
ECK: I think is a Chinese restaurant.
MONACO: Is that right?
ECK: I think that's the um . . .you go upstairs . . . I don't know what's on the first floor.
MONACO: OK. . . . Because it was the bank on the corner.
ECK: That's still there.
MONACO: Yeah, that's still there . . . and the Ford Motor Company was next door to it. Which is what the FBI took over . . . bought out.
ECK: And what . . . do you have any idea what the FBI was doing there.
MONACO: It was the FBI, CIA and NSA. It was all of them. That was a joint intelligence place for them. Joint security place for all of them.
ECK: A meeting place or were they . . .
MONACO: Well, they had offices there. No, they had offices there. Yeah, they had offices there. Because . . . I mean because you never . . . you couldn't go inside. I mean . . . sure there had to be at least two stories high. I mean, a couple of floors of offices, yeah. And where they exchanged information and coordinated information. I assume for purposes of Hill. That's why I assumed it was there.
ECK: For testimony?
MONACO: Yeah, for testimony and coordinating information before they got called up and made sure they were saying the same thing.
ECK: Now did Nader . . . Nader moved into one of those buildings. His organization, maybe . . .
MONACO: I don't remember . . . I mean clearly he was kicked out of the old convent and I didn't . . . I don't remember.
ECK: Yeah, Nader, was up there, and maybe still his . . . there was Sid Wolfe. Part of the Nader organization.
MONACO: That's right.
ECK: Had an office in one of those buildings.
MONACO: Right, OK.
ECK: It may have been . . .
MONACO: That could have been where Joan Claybrook went with Wolfe. Because they were together. Yes. After . . . they got . . . they were together because I remember seeing them on the TV for . . . you know a news clip for something for Ralph Nader. Because Joan Claybrook usually was the one you saw on TV. Who made all the statements and appeared on the Hill to testify. I mean Nader did too from time to time but Joan Claybrook after that took over a lot of it.
ECK: Well clarify something. You said that there was a Ford Motor Company show room. Did it have a large glass front?
MONACO: I don't think it did when I saw it. The only reason I knew it was Fort Motor Company, because my father told me that's what it was when he was a kid. OK.
ECK: OK, so it was there a long time
MONACO: Yeah, what I recall it was . . . I would almost say it was a solid front with nothing but a door. There was only one door that I remember. And that was . . .
ECK: How did they bring any cars into it to display? Do you think?
MONACO: Oh, no. I mean whoever bought it . . . I mean the intelligence people would have . . .
ECK: Yeah, but prior to that when it was a auto display . . .
MONACO: They could have brought it in through the alley.
MONACO: They could have I don't know.
MONACO: I mean they could have brought it in . . . I can't see them bringing it in from the street side . . .
ECK: So when your father talked about it did this go back to like the 20s?
MONACO: Uh-huh. Or the 30s I mean it could . . . have even been the 40s for all I know.
ECK: Yeah, yeah.
MONACO: I mean I really don't know. To me it's more likely it was the 40s. But I don't know. I mean he's the one who told me it was a Ford dealership. Ok. And I would say that's a weird place to have a Ford dealership. [laughter]
ECK: [laughter] And let's see . . .
MONACO: Oh, I was trying to think of the other zoning case that . . . what's that Second Street. What I call the Brumidi mansion. That's got seven lots and it was taken over by the Heritage Foundation and they just moved out a couple of years ago, across the street from the Madison Library Building. Seven . . . five, six or seven lots. There is the bank . . .
[ed: this discussion is about 224 Second Street SE; the purchaser of the property in the 1970s was the Cato Institute, not the Heritage Foundation.]
ECK: Second Street?
MONACO: Isn't that Second?
MONACO: The bank, the restaurant . . .
ECK: Ok, Pete's Diner.
MONACO: Pete's Diner, whatever it's called now.
MONACO: There was a . . . one or two town houses and then there is five vacant lots . . . not vacant lots there is five lots. That's all one package. That's the original . . . I call it the Brumidi mansion because that house has been in existence . . . that's one of the oldest houses on the Hill . . . in the District and Brumidi spent a summer -- the guy who painted the Capitol -- Brumidi spent the whole summer or a year . . .
ECK: Fresco painter of the Capitol Building?
MONACO: Right, on the top floor. He lived on the top floor.
ECK: Is that where the Indian . . .
MONACO: That's where it was, whatever it is now, yeah.
ECK: Some American Indian? [ed: reference is to the National Indian Gaming Association, which occupies the property in 2010]
MONACO: Right, that's exactly right and it was bought . . . it was privately owned when we came back to the Hill. Even when we were set at 1972, and it was being sold, they even offered us . . . but we couldn't afford 200,000 or 275 for it. I would loved to have bought five lots for that kind of price.
ECK: It was five lots but one building?
MONACO: Yeah, five lots . . . but it was actually five lots.
ECK: And that's why you called it . . . your mansion, yes? And it's got a porch?
MONACO: It's got the porch.
ECK: Second floor porch, I think?
MONACO: Yes, that's right. You go up . . . right.
MONACO: And it's got garages in the back. And Brumidi was on . . . we understand it . . . Brumidi lived on the top floor for a summer or a year. Originally we were told, though I never saw them, that he actually did some drawings on the wall up there, but . . . you know . . . whether or not that's true or not, who knows.
ECK: That's interesting.
MONACO: Yeah. But that's an extremely old building. And the Heritage Foundation finally went in, they were trying to do some rezoning and a few things . . . Oh, I know, they wanted to convert the carriage houses . . . because that's why you . . . the building itself is only on like two of the lots but there's two or three more lots where the carriage house run along there, that I assume have fallen down. You can actually see . . .
ECK: . . . behind the . . .
MONACO: Yeah, that's how you got to them.
MONACO: But as I recall you can see it from Second Street. If they are still there because the answer is the carriage houses, as I recall were wood and they were in bad shape when it was offered to us . . . to buy. Us. . .me and my wife. It was put on the market and the Heritage Foundation came in and asked for some rezoning and to renovate . . . and we opposed them and stopped them. I think we allowed them a little bit of use of the carriage houses but they wanted to make carriage houses all offices I recall.
ECK: Fascinating, now that you know that the Heritage Foundation is . . . has got a building that front on Pennsylvania Avenue. And they want to make some modifications that the Restoration Society currently opposes.
MONACO: Where on Pennsylvania . . .
ECK: In that 200 block, in that same square.
MONACO: But facing on to . . .
ECK: Pennsylvania Avenue, not onto Second Street. So they are apparently still . . .
MONACO: I know where they . . .
ECK: . . . In that block . . .
MONACO: Yeah, because their main . . . I mean that was a big building . . . that's a big building, the Brumidi place. I mean that's a big building. That's got a complete first floor. You are right, you always went upstairs to get to the main . . .
ECK: It's up on a hill.
MONACO: And it's up on a hill, right. I mean that's a big building. And I had heard that they had . . . obviously they sold it. But I assumed they moved downtown to a big place.
ECK: They are on . . . they have a building on Massachusetts Avenue [NE].
MONACO: Oh, that makes sense.
ECK: And . . . between Second and Third. And now they have this site on Pennsylvania Avenue.
ECK: And it's closer, obviously to the House side. I guess the other building on Massachusetts Avenue . . . consider closer to the Senate.
MONACO: Senate side, yeah, sure.
ECK: But the Restoration Society is . . . has contested some of the changes they wanted to make. Apparently they want to go up higher and . . . it'll change some of the frontage.
MONACO: Oh, I see what you are talking about, yeah . . .
ECK: But it's . . .
MONACO: It's a concept problem . . .
ECK: The significance is there, I guess, is that they are at the same lot that they had been in . . .
MONACO: Right, yeah, OK . . .
ECK: Eastern Market renovation . . . have . . .?
MONACO: Other than, as I said the District was originally thinking about tearing it down, which is what they threatened to do to all the markets. And succeeded in the case of most of them. [laughter] But as far as the current renovation I haven't . . .
ECK: Well, Dick Wolf mentioned Starobin, Colonel Starobin who was in the District General Services . . . didn't you have dealing with him?. . . [ed: Lt. Colonel Sam D. Starobin, Army Corps of Engineers, was head of the District General Services in the late 1960s and 1970s.]
MONACO: I remember the name but I don't remember having a lot of contact with him.
ECK: The mayor's office was . . . the Mayor . . . I guess he was Walter Washington, the first Mayor.
MONACO: Right, yeah, I mean that's . . . and Dick himself did have a lot of contact. I do know who Colonel Starobin was and Mayor Washington . . . as I recall . . . it was Mayor Washington who finally changed his mind. And said that we won't knock it down, we will renovate it. We will save it. As I recall that but I . . . I mean I . . . I was not actively involved in the day-to-day on that one. I just don't . . .
MONACO: Yeah, because that's right Starobin was General Services Administrator for DC government or something like that. Yeah, right . . . but I don't remember as I said, other than we ended up successfully in not having it torn down. Part of the compromise was the east end was to be . . . part of the agreement was they were going to save it and renovate it and the east end would be . . . they would put money into the east end so it could be used for community services.
ECK: The north end . . . the north hall?
MONACO: Yeah, the north hall. Yeah, I am saying the east end but yeah, the north hall.
ECK: It was an art gallery or something.
MONACO: It was actually a couple of things. It was an art gallery. It was also used by somebody . . . some one of the mayors for community services and passed off as an art gallery. I mean it was a little more than an art gallery but yeah, that was part of the deal.
ECK: Do you have any . . . the swimming pool there. Was that at all controversial?
MONACO: Actually, I don't recall it other than . . . controversial other than . . . that was originally a fire department.
MONACO: OK, as I recall it, that was originally a fire department building which of course . . . there were number of fire departments even one off of Lincoln Park . . . would that be Tennessee again? There was a fire department there, but all of those were . . . they didn't need them any more. They consolidated them.
ECK: They were small.
MONACO: They were small, they consolidated them. Some of them were probably pretty rickety even if they were brick. And I am not sure . . . the one . . . I am trying to think of the park that comes . . . you have got Lincoln Park . . . this is Lincoln Park and this here, (referring to map) that would have been Tennessee? Right here.
ECK: That would have been on the north side.
MONACO: Tennessee is here. What was this street here, the angle there?
MONACO: Kentucky, OK. Right in here there was a firehouse. The reason I know because we used to . . . that would have been the one that serviced us. Where we lived. But in any event the . . .
ECK: Was that Kentucky and the south side of Lincoln Park?
MONACO: Yeah, that would have been the southwest side, yeah. Cause on the corner there, yeah, on the corner was a High's delicatessen . . . High's Diary Store.
ECK: Oh, like 14th Street? Or was it Massachusetts Avenue was there . . .
MONACO: No, Massachusetts Avenue is on the north side, right? This is Lincoln Park here, facing north.
ECK: Well Massachusetts is . . .
MONACO: Up here..
ECK: Comes in . . .
MONACO: I know, but I am talking about down here.
ECK: Oh, down here . . .
MONACO: Yeah, down here. On this corner was a High's. And there was the . . .
ECK: We are talking . . . what is that, South Carolina, North Carolina.
MONACO: It's . . . yeah . . .
ECK: North Carolina..
MONACO: It's North Carolina, that's right it was North Carolina fire department. That's exactly what it was . . .
ECK: Right at the corner?
MONACO: No, no, the corner was the High's.
MONACO: And then there may have even been an alley and next to it was the fire department.
MONACO: Ok, and the reason . . . one of the reasons I remember this is because . . . right here [referring to map]
ECK: So we're talking 11th Street?
MONACO: Yeah, 11th Street. Right here, across the street. There was a People's Drug Store there, that served food forever. They had a food counter as well. OK. Next to it sitting down a little bit was the Snow-ball guy. That's where I got all my snow-balls . . . in the summertime.
ECK: Wow. So there . . . at that corner my recollection now is that . . .
MONACO: It's a condo or something.
ECK: It's a modern building.
MONACO: Yeah, it's a modern building.
ECK: So that was where . . . tell me again?
MONACO: People's Drug Store.
ECK: People's Drug Store, and they had . . .
MONACO: They had a food counter and everything, for years.
MONACO: And then of course, a lot of those People's and all of them got rid of their food counters but they still stayed there as a People's Drug Store. Yeah.
ECK: And do you know . . . it was torn down to put up that modern building?
MONACO: I assume so, right.
ECK: You don't have any recollection of how . . . and where was this snow-cone place?
MONACO: It would have had . . . North Carolina . . . he was right here. [pointing to map]
ECK: On the north . . .
MONACO: No, right here. This was North Carolina.
MONACO: And he was right here. Of course, this is Lincoln Park. He was right here on the corner and he had like a little grocery store. And in the summertime he had opened outside and had snow-balls.
ECK: They opened on to North Carolina Avenue?
MONACO: No, it actually opened onto 11th Street.
ECK: 11th Street.
MONACO: Right. They faced . . . but he was near the corner there, anyway.
ECK: There is still a store there?
MONACO: Yeah, there is still a store there, as I recall.
ECK: Yeah, it's a market, a small market.
MONACO: Right, and that's when it always was.
ECK: And a plant shop too . . .
MONACO: That I don't remember. That was not there. But the answer is that it was like a small grocery store and you could get groceries. And the reason I remember is, we knew we wouldn't go that far, for food. Because we could go across the street to be quite frank, down to the corner to the DGS. But the answer is that we always went there in evening, if it was hot in the summer time. And I would get snow-balls all the time.
ECK: That's great.
MONACO: And he would fix you any flavor you wanted . . .
ECK: Do you know who the owner was, or what his name was?
MONACO: No, I just remember it was an older guy, but I don't even remember . . . again I think he was Italian. But I don't even remember that one. That's too much. So, I just don't remember.
ECK: You talked about the . . . your father knowing . . . it was sort of the Italian community.
ECK: Do you have any recollection of the sandwich shop, Magdialiano or . . .
ECK: Mangialardo's. Right, Is there any . . .
MONACO: He knew . . . yeah. Of course we used to go to Mangialardo's all the time. I mean . . . even we did . . .
ECK: Is that . . . grocery . . .
MONACO: Well it was originally a grocery store and . . . I mean . . . to this day, you know it was two brothers. Actually, it was the mother and the father. OK. My father knew all of them. And when the mother and the father ran the store . . . they were there in 1967 because we used to go there all the time. You know, that was only a block away [several blocks] from where we were living at 1006 D Street. We used to go there all the time. And the two brothers and the grandson . . . of course there was a couple of grandsons who were small boys. They all worked in the shop . . .
ECK: And where was the shop?
MONACO: In a . . . what was it the 1100 block of Pennsylvania, no. The 1300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.
ECK: Oh, OK. It's still there.
MONACO: It's still there, right. But the answer is . . . you got two stores here [referring to map] next door . . . there were two brothers . . . when the mother and father died the two brothers got everything. The two brothers split up so the one brother took this place and closed . . . there used to be a door . . . OK . . . he took this store . . . he took this and said . . . you were locked into this one place now. Only the one store, OK. And the one brother still runs it. Well, the last time I looked. I don't know if he . . .
ECK: He's still there.
MONACO: He's still there, right. With his grand -- his sons, actually his sons who run it. Yeah.
ECK: There's a line in front of it, every day.
MONACO: Yeah, I know.
MONACO: But it used to be an Italian grocery store, a real Italian grocery store. And it didn't specialize in subs and pizzas and all the rest. It served everything. I mean, they made sausage from scratch which they . . . don't do anymore. They made everything from scratch that's why the other place which I still go to is Litteri's over at the Florida Avenue Market. [517-519 Morse Street, NE] That is a true Italian grocery store, only one left here. You've got to go to Baltimore otherwise.
ECK: Litteri's, do you still go there?
MONACO: Uh huh. He's not open on Mondays. [laughter]
MONACO: Yeah, and they . . . it is funny because it used to be all Italians. Of course the father and mother have died. One of the sons, I think it's Michael, who runs it. And Michael knows me by face. And he knows who I am . . . and he's got people . . . he's got mostly Hispanics running the place for him now. But they still make good sausage . . . and prosciutto.
ECK: They make it?
MONACO: Yeah, they still make their own Italian sausage, yeah.
MONACO: But it is a true Italian grocery store. It's the only one I know . . .
ECK: That's the Fourth Street market . . .
MONACO: And the Florida Avenue market, right.
ECK: Florida Avenue market . . .
MONACO: If you go up Sixth Street and go across the stop light at Florida Avenue where it cuts across, you turn left and it's the second or third store in. On the corner used to be a Little Tavern it still got the markings of the Little Tavern . . . but it's not . . .
ECK: The little hamburger place?
ECK: That Little Tavern . . .
MONACO: That was originally a Little Tavern . . . it was originally a Little Tavern.
MONACO: That's what . . . when we used to go there they used to be a Little Tavern, yeah.
ECK: There used to be a steak house in that Florida Avenue market, do you recall that?
MONACO: Yeah, but I don't remember going there. It used to be . . . one of the reasons we know so much about it . . . one of cousins who is now dead was born and raised at 451 New Jersey Avenue. OK. 451 New Jersey Avenue was owned . . .
ECK: Northeast or Southeast?
MONACO: Southeast. 451 New Jersey Avenue SE. On the corner was a gas station, my uncle Joe Costantino, my oldest aunt, my father's oldest sister married Joe Costantino, obviously another Italian. And they had . . . they bought, they owned and raised their family at 451 New Jersey Avenue, which is next to the corner. The corner was a gas station which they owned, an Esso gas station for years. I don't even know if there is a building there or not but 451 New Jersey Avenue actually had, I don't know if it still does . . . has three subbasements and the reason I am telling you any of this is because I am more than . . . again you want to know but if you go around to North Carolina Avenue that whole shopping center. Do you know there is a series of shops there?
ECK: I am sorry . . .
MONACO: Isn't that North Carolina . . . yes.
ECK: Yes. OK.
MONACO: On the corner used to be a liquor store.
ECK: OH, the liquor store, yeah. The trucking association expanded into it. [American Trucking Association, 430 First Street SE]
MONACO: Ok. There's an alley, there's a series of stores there.
MONACO: You'll see a plaque that says in memory of Joseph Costantino. OK, my uncle Joe Costantino owned all of those.
ECK: Oh . . .
MONACO: And he use to have a barbershop, a cleaners, a grocery store, not a grocery store, an Italian delicatessen, [laughter] . . . I can't remember and . . . a woman's hair salon, whatever. And then he rented out upstairs. OK.
ECK: As apartments.
MONACO: Yeah, as apartments, right. Of course . . . all of that was sold off. But they lived at 451 New Jersey Avenue, which is around the corner . . . again during World War II he ran a grocery store out of the second story of 451 New Jersey Avenue.
ECK: Is 451 the corner house?
MONACO: No, the corner was where the parking lot . . . was where the Exxon Station was . . . it's the last . . . see I don't know if they built . . .
MONACO: I don't know if they built a building, but the corner lot was -- used to be a gas station that my uncle owned and ran as an Esso Station.
ECK: OK, that's right across from the power plant . . .
MONACO: That's correct..
ECK: It's at the corner. It's now . . . it's an office building.
MONACO: They put a building there. I assumed they had. OK, OK.
ECK: CAIR, the council for. . . [Council on American-Islamic Relations]
MONACO: But the last house until then was 451 New Jersey Avenue.
MONACO: And they actually ran a grocery store out of the second story. And since my mother worked downtown for an insurance company, a lot of times I would get taken around to different aunts and uncles. And so, from time to time, that I got to spend . . . times at the grocery store with my Aunt Millie. She actually ran the store, because my Uncle Joe was running all the other things, OK. And . . . again this is during World War II. And, you know Doctor Pepper? You know the drink, Doctor Pepper?
MONACO: Well Doctor Pepper is one of my favorite drinks, and one of the reasons was . . . of course back then it was all in bottles, it said ten, two and four. So, one of the treats was, she would let me have a Doctor Pepper out of the cooler. And so one day I said well . . . what does that say? She said it says ten, two and four. I said is that time? She said yeah. I said that means you are going to give me three Doctor Peppers every day. She said no Larry [laughter], no I am not.
MONACO: But I mean they did it for a reason, because . . . that meant they had . . . got food . . . and had to use the rationing coupons and all the rest of it. But I mean -- but that meant they had access on a wholesale basis. Not only for their stores over there but for the grocery store. The already had the contact, so.
ECK: You said something about how many levels on the 451. . .
MONACO: It had three subbasements. It had a basement and two subbasements . . .
ECK: . . . a basement below the basement?
MONACO: And they were dirt, you actually had wooden stairs to get down. But one of the reasons was it was always cold, and that's where he would keep food.
ECK: Oh . . .
MONACO: He took me down there a couple of times and I didn't ever want to go back. [laughter]
MONACO: But that's where they were guaranteed cold . . . a cold storage place for meats . . . in particular meats.
ECK: Uh huh.
MONACO: All summer long.
ECK: Did he . . . would he take ice down there or . . .
MONACO: Yeah, he would also take ice down there . . . no he would also take ice down there if he needed it to be safe. But, yeah he would also carry ice down there, blocks of ice.
ECK: And how large do you think it was?
MONACO: It wasn't real huge, no. The last sub basement was not huge. It was a dirt room . . . is what it was.
ECK: So it was just dug out of the dirt and . . .
MONACO: Yeah, and of course he had retaining . . . yeah, he had retaining walls there. Yeah, sure.
ECK: Wow, that's fascinating.
MONACO: Which also when you say bring ice . . . to this day I call refrigerators, iceboxes, [laughter]
MONACO: And my father to the day he died said Larry, we don't have iceboxes anymore.
MONACO: But I remember doing that . . . I remember with my grandmother doing that on D Street. The guy came during the summertime, twice a week with a block of ice. In the wintertime once a week. And we had to clean it out and drain it . . . especially in the summertime, otherwise it spilled out and flooded the kitchen floor.
ECK: Now you worked on the Hill and I was just thinking we were talking about New Jersey Avenue. Do you have . . . do you have any recollections of . . . the DNC, the Democratic National Committee building there on the railroad tracks?
MONACO: Yeah, we did get involved but they had . . . you mean the present building they have got? We did get involved . . .
ECK: Was there an earlier one?
MONACO: Well, I only remember the one that they tried . . . that they are in now around . . . what's it, Ivy Street.
ECK: Ivy Street?
MONACO: On Ivy Street and the answer is we didn't have too much . . . there was some zoning questions which we worked out with them. And I mean actually went in and met with them a couple times on that one. I think I was zoning chair at the time as I am trying to recall. Zoning chair . . . but the answer is . . . they started out a little hard-nosed but we reached pretty much an agreement with them.
ECK: They were already there . . . I mean they did some . . .
MONACO: Well they put in the new building as I recall. It was all brand new building, yeah.
ECK: But, there was an old building.
MONACO: Yeah, there was an old building. Yeah, right.
ECK: Was it controversial?
MONACO: No. The only other thing which is . . . happened . . . the reason, because my oldest son, David, lives at 411 G Street. I mean you go by Curley Boswell's block. And to have that corner . . . with buildings, condos on it!
ECK: Yes, yes.
MONACO: And we had several projects . . .
ECK: School complex . . . that's the Lenox . . .
MONACO: No, this is where the train comes out of the track, comes out from underground. To this day, I mean that's an amazing project they did there. That would be at the corner of New Jersey and . . . D, right. And that's where the trains come out from underneath the ground, from Union Station.
MONACO: At . . . no, David lives at 411 G but he is the one who told me that they had built condos in the unit block, where the train comes out of the . . . the train comes out of the ground.
ECK: OH, yes. Right across from the DNC on the north side of the tracks. . .
MONACO: Well, it's across the street from the underground parking for the House.
ECK: For the Rayburn Building.
MONACO: Yeah, for the Rayburn Building, right.
ECK: Right, right.
MONACO: And we had a couple of projects there that they proposed and we opposed, because mainly they were trying to do office buildings. But as my son tells me . . . I drove by there . . . went by there the other day . . .
END OF TAPE 2/SIDE 2
TAPE 3/SIDE 1
MONACO: . . . he was a little puzzled. I mean he was telling me the prices they were asking for it. I was wondering how they could even build it there. But they got it with the train coming out of the . . . trains coming out and everything else, plus to me it's a little high. But . . . it's built a little tall.
ECK: It always surprised me further down at First Street . . . or just in at . . . I guess that's C Street [ed: actually D Street SE] . . . you know . . . Governor DuPont was there, right was . . . there are some nice houses with gardens, outdoor gardens, very old houses.
ECK: Right next to that railroad track. Just a little farther down from those condos. It's at First Street, I think . . . or is it South Capitol Street?
MONACO: It's South Capitol?
ECK: It's South Capitol Street.
MONACO: And I am talking about Curley Boswell, that's what I am talking about.
ECK: That's Curley Boswell's?
MONACO: Well Curley Boswell has the stuff on D Street. You're talking about the houses that go along South Capitol?
ECK: No, I am talking about D Street right at the corner. The corner . . .
MONACO: You and I are talking about . . . you're talking about the corner houses at D, and Curley has the . . . Curley Boswell . . . I don't know who has it now, had the next three houses up from that. But the answer is yeah. Yeah, . . . you and I are talking about the same place, OK.
ECK: Tell me about Curley Boswell again. Uh . . .
MONACO: Well, all . . . I don't know a lot about Curley other than he had, I am going to say the 49 D Street, but he had, in effect, three lots. It's a huge house with a big front yard to the side . . . there's one house that comes up to the street. But there is in effect three lots as I recall. And the second and third lot as you get closer to First Street is . . . actually . . . there's like . . . I don't know what you want to call it -- houses attached to the main house. I mean that's a big complex and Curley and his family owned that for years. Again, he knew my father.
ECK: Now is that from New Jersey Avenue toward First, between New Jersey and First, or . . .
MONACO: No, this would be from . . . South Capitol.
ECK: South Capitol and then there's New Jersey . . .
MONACO: Towards New Jersey, right. He is in the unit block . . . he's in the unit . . . 49 D Street. In the unit block of New Jersey . . . I mean the unit block of D. [ed: The Curley Boswell house is 11 D Street SE.]
MONACO: As I recall the official address. You are talking about the stuff on the corner and he owned the next three lots.
ECK: OK, and . . . but, as far as you . . . does he still own it . . . as far as you know?
MONACO: Oh, no, I am sure he's dead. I am sure he's dead, right.
ECK: Oh, that was the house . . . I use to walk by there and . . . Governor DuPont . . . maybe he was a Senator from Delaware.
MONACO: He was a Senator . . .
ECK: . . . lived there and there was . . . so maybe Boswell might have . . . I don't know if he sold it to the Governor or not . . .
MONACO: What . . . maybe. I am sure . . . it went to an estate sale, I am sure that's what happened. I don't . . .
ECK: OK, and . . . but Curley Boswell you said was President of the Restoration Society.
MONACO: No, no he never was President.
ECK: Oh, he wasn't.
MONACO: No. [ed: Restoration Society records confirm that Curley Boswell was never president.]
MONACO: He helped organize the Restoration Society.
ECK: I see.
MONACO: But to my knowledge he was never President. I don't think. I mean he was in the real estate, just like Arline was. I mean . . . but he was not a real big pusher . . . but he, I mean . . . that's a beautiful complex of houses or lots. Because as I recall, there's the house and then there's . . . I wouldn't say summer cottages but that's not really what . . . I mean that's the impression you get.
ECK: There, there . . . down
MONACO: That's right.
ECK: Down from the street and . . .
MONACO: And that's where Curley always used to stay. I mean if I went to see Curley that's where he went. I never was in the main . . . what I would call the main house . . .
ECK: And what was across the street before they built the Rayburn parking garages? Do you have any recollection? . . .
MONACO: I don't. I really don't. That's . . . now that you ask me that, I just don't remember.
ECK: Do you remember the Rayburn Building being constructed?
MONACO: No, that was in the 50s. No, no . . . I mean the only thing that I remember is of course, across from Cannon, when they took down the office building. And now that's all . . . completely a parking lot. That was actually . . . on the corner there was the Congressional Hotel, which a lot of members used to live in. And then, the House bought it, and they actually had staff offices in there. And then . . .
ECK: You worked for what committee?
MONACO: I worked [later] for the [House] Law Revision Counsel, which was in Rayburn and then . . . it's in Ford now. And [before that] on the Senate side I worked for the Legislative Counsel, which is in . . . not Hart . . .
MONACO: No, . . . the Senator . . . whatever Hart was attached to. Dirksen.
MONACO: Dirksen, the Senator from Illinois. Yeah.
ECK: Right. OK, you worked for the Law Revision Counsel. What law were they revising?
MONACO: We revised all the laws of the United States.
ECK: . . . the U.S. code?
MONACO: The U.S. Code, yeah. We rewrite . . . we maintain the U.S. Code and we try to take each title of the code and rewrite it, simplify it, shorten it and we've done it . . . to this day they have done about . . . there's 50 titles to the U.S. Code, we have done about 30 of them.
ECK: Are you still working on it?
MONACO: That's a permanent job.
ECK: Are you still working on it?
MONACO: No, I don't. I retired years ago. I don't do any of that. And on the Senate side I drafted legislation for whoever asked for it. So, yeah. OK.
ECK: OK, well fine, this has been a lot of fun.
MONACO: You brought back memories of things I had forgotten about.
[taping stopped, then restarted after a few minutes]
ECK: OK . . . we have some additional thoughts.
ECK: You have some additional thoughts.
MONACO: First, the Providence Hospital site, which is now a park. My father used to work as a little kid. He used to go over and help the chief janitor. And the janitor would give him lunch and few things . . . desserts. But then, of course, moving back to the Hill, they threatened . . . it was going to be torn . . . it just stood there empty for no use, the Providence Hospital site, an empty hospital building. It was causing problems, break-ins, and who knows what was happening.
ECK: What year do you think . . . this was, about? 1960?
MONACO: I don't remember what year . . . hold on a minute [looking through papers]. . . it's got to be . . . 1971 . . . 1970-71. Yeah, OK. And so the church decided to . . . the Catholic Church as I recall still owned it . . . the Archbishop still owned it. So they decided to level it and sell it. So when it was leveled, the House of Representatives decided it needed another office building [laughter].
MONACO: And they thought this might be a good site. And we discussed it with them and they agreed, and the Architect of the Capitol agreed. The other thought was to have . . . the Architect of the Capitol build the building there and put offices in. So what happened . . . God, too much is coming back now . . . so they agreed that they should leave it alone. It's in a residential area, they should not intrude in a residential area.
ECK: And this is the Architect of the Capitol?
MONACO: The Architect and . . . that's what he recommended. And instead the Architect of the Capitol put his offices in the building around the corner from the power plant. Those red brick buildings that during World War II were World War II offices for military. They are red brick buildings at the corner of . . . where ever all those streets come together: New Jersey . . .
ECK: I see First . . . New Jersey, First and North Carolina and D . . .[ed: actually E Street SE]
MONACO: And so he put his offices . . . he took over those buildings instead.
ECK: Those offices . . . that was used by Food and Drug Administration, wasn't it?
MONACO: But before that . . . that's right . . . FDA, before that was World War II military personnel. That's who it was built for in World War II. Those red brick buildings, and so he two things: he did that and the FBI no longer needed what is now the Ford Office Building . So we got rid of it [the proposed office building on the Providence Hospital site] that way. The Ford Office Building happened at the same time. Because I was located in a Ford Office Building, I was the first office located there.
ECK: Where is the Ford Office Building?
MONACO: It is . . . the Ford Office Building is facing the freeway . . . was it . . . the FDA building and Ford Office Building.
ECK: Oh, right across from the subway, so now we are in Southwest . . . in the HHS complex . . .
MONACO: You are not quite there and you got a freeway . . .
ECK: 200 C Street [SW] is the FDA building.
MONACO: Right, and this is across . . . next to it . . . and that was originally . . . that is a concrete bomb shelter built by the FBI, it used to contain four or five million finger prints. And they got one-foot thick concrete floors on every floor, because it needed to hold the cabinets. [laughter]
ECK: [laughter] Oh, not to protect it; because of the weight.
MONACO: It was because of the weight, yeah. And that's what . . . so . . . between that they gave those buildings to the, to the Architect and that was the fourth House office building.
ECK: Right, OK.
ECK: Yeah. Congressional Budget Office and others are in there now . . .
MONACO: And the CBO is in there, as well. That's correct, yeah . . .
ECK: And that was a trade off for Providence Hospital?
ECK: So . . . as far as you know Providence Hospital site will not be built on?
MONACO: I don't think . . . I can't see it ever being built on. I really don't.
ECK: Do you think that was, more or less, the agreement?
MONACO: Yeah, I don't think the House has any interest in it whatsoever. The only thing you would ever think of in the back of your mind is whether some builder would come in and say let's convert this to R-4. And then it becomes a zoning matter.
ECK: But it's now federal property?
MONACO: No, as far as . . . actually you know what? I don't know, you are right, it may still be federal property . . . or no . . . see I don't think so. Let's see if this tells me. [looking through documents] Whether or not it was given to the DC government . . . this goes to 1990. This here [referring to document] . . .
ECK: But it was sold from the Archdiocese of Washington to -- the Catholic Archdiocese to the Architect?
MONACO: Actually this gives the complete history of the whole site from 1792.
ECK: Oh my.
MONACO: Oh, that's right, the other thing . . . I completely forgot about it they were going to buy it and make it the page school. That's what they were going to do.
MONACO: With interim use to be as a park . . .
ECK: The page school . . .
MONACO: Never happened . . .
ECK: Well yeah, it did, not a school.
MONACO: Right, they always have had . . .
ECK: The housing.
MONACO: The housing for it, right.
ECK: The housing for the students?
MONACO: This was going to be student housing and classrooms and everything, right.
ECK: That moved down . . . the housing for the students moved down to . . . the . . . First and North Carolina, that FDA building. You said that was Army . . .
MONACO: I am assuming what happened here it was given to the DC government by statute. OK. . . . I mean, I can't remember who put this together but this tells you everything. The Safeway was thinking about buying it from the Federal government. And then the bill introduced in '79, '80 to give it to the DC government . . .. Legislation authorizes a [unintelligible] . . . it never tells you who gets it though . . . this never tells you who gets it though . . . we even have Pete Stark . . .
ECK: Could you describe what pieces of paper you are reading from?
MONACO: Yeah, I reading from . . . different pages that are a summary that was put together by the Restoration Society concerning . . . the Providence Park in 1990, plus a letter from Pete Stark who happened to be a member of Congress who lived in the 100 block of C Street SE at the time. And who owned a house there actually, saying that the University of California was thinking about buying it . . . the park and he hoped they didn't. So, I will have to leave it at that.
ECK: Ok. Very good.
[taping stopped, then restarted]
ECK: OK, we have one more bit of information.
MONACO: Hi, this is Larry again. One thing I forgot to mention is that my father, while he was in the Marine Corps and was stationed a couple of times out of the Marine Corps Barracks. He was treated at the Naval Hospital, over there on Pennsylvania Avenue, for I assume some illness or something. I am not quite sure what it was. But he was well aware about it, and from time to time he'd ask me if anything was ever happening to the place. So . . .
ECK: This is the 900 block . . . the hospital at the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue?
MONACO: Pennsylvania Avenue, yes, it is. So . . .
ECK: So, do you have any other recollections of that hospital?
MONACO: No, I do not. I mean I remember the ANC going in there and meeting there a few times and trying to get something done, some renovations done, but nothing ever happened. It just seemed to me to continue to deteriorate or get torn up. And now hopefully something will really happen to it.
ECK: So, your father said he was treated back when he was on active duty. Do you recall the time frame that would have been?
MONACO: Yeah, that would have been around 19 . . . let's say 1931, . . .'32 something like that . . . 1930-31-32, the early 1930s.
ECK: And was it like a sick bay. Was it minor . . .
MONACO: I think it was probably sickbay. He really didn't tell me too much, other than, he said he was treated there, or was there for an illness. And he was wondering if anything happened to it, if it was still being used as a hospital. And I said no. [laughter] So.
ECK: OK, great. Thank you.
|END OF INTERVIEW|
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This interview transcript is the property of the Ruth Ann Overbeck