From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
The new Logan Circle Heritage Trail is nearly here! Two-and-a-half years in the making, the 15 signs that will mark the walking trail have been finalized and should be in the ground by the beginning of July at the latest.
The trail will officially open on Saturday, July 13. There will be a public opening ceremony in the early afternoon in Logan Circle. After some time to explore the trail itself, a celebratory event will take place at the Studio Theater (1501 14th Street NW) from 5 to 7 pm. Local politicians, dignitaries and celebrities are expected to attend.
The trail will have 15 stops in all, starting at the Jewish Community Center (1529 16th Street) and ending at the Studio Theater. Other stops will include:
• St. Luke’s Church (1514 15th Street)
• “automobile row” (Church and 14th Streets)
• the Whitman-Walker Clinic (1701 14th Street)
• Louise Hand Laundry (1404 12th Street)
• the Korean Legation (15 Logan Circle)
• Mary McLeod Bethune House (1318 Vermont Avenue)
• Luther Place Memorial Church (1226 Vermont Avenue)
• National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle)
One sign on 14th Street will also note and explain Logan Circle’s colorful past as a place of prostitution.
There’s still a lot of work to be done before the grand opening of the trail in June. Community assistance will help make this a success. The Logan Circle Heritage Trail Working Group, formed by Cultural Tourism DC, is looking for community assistance in making the kickoff a success.
There are many ways for local business, organizations and individuals to help. The ways requiring money are:
- Be a sponsor for the event. Contributions ranging from $1,750 to $10,000 come with a variety of publicity opportunities on promotional literature, press releases, event programs, signage, relevant web pages and other venues. Contact Margaux Faris at Mfaris [at] CulturalTourismDC.org for more information.
- Advertise in the keepsake program that will accompany the opening ceremony. The program will have photos and maps from the trail markets and will be distributed to the expected 250-300 participants. Prices range from $95 for a quarter page to $380 for a full page. Contact Liane Toohey at Ltoohey [at] CulturalTourismDC.org
- Fund the printing of a guidebook for the trail. Usually, each walking trail in DC is accompanied by a guidebook, but there is no money in the budget for one. The project needs to do fundraising to the tune of $29,000 for 10,000 copies of a guidebook. These guidebooks would be provided free of cost to local businesses, libraries, schools, visitor’s centers, etc., for distribution to tourists and residents. Contact Maggie Downing at MDowning [at] CulturalTourismDC.org.
For those of us without businesses to advertise, or perhaps even money to spare, there are ways to help requiring only time and effort:
- Know a celebrity with a connection to Logan Circle? The Working Group would like to find one to host the July 13 ceremony. Local media figures like WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi and NBC4’s Pat Collins have done the emcee duties for events like this in the past.
- If you both don’t have extra bags of money and don’t know any celebrities, don’t despair. There are still ways to help. Cultural Tourism DC is looking for volunteers to work on the day of the event. Also…
- When all the hoopla is finished and the dignitaries have gone home, the signs of the Logan Circle Heritage Trail will remain in place and need care. Sadly, these signs often attract the attention of local graffiti writers. If they are not taken care of, they soon become illegible. Cultural Tourism DC is looking for concerned local residents to “adopt a sign” and become “the eyes and ears” of the trail, so it can be enjoyed by visitors for years to come. Cultural Tourism DC will give you a free bucket.
For questions about these last three items, contact Maggie Downing at MDowning [at] CulturalTourismDC.org