Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Brookland, Washington, DC
- Brooks Mansion
- Franciscan Monastery
- Ralph Bunche House
- Sterling Brown House
- St. Anthony's Catholic School & Church
- Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
- The Catholic University of America
- Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
- Trinity University
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops national headquarters
- Archbishop Carroll High School
For most of the 19th century the area was farmland owned by the prominent Middletown, and Queen families; Bellair, the 1840 brick Greek Revival mansion built by Colonel Jehiel Brooks who married Ann Margaret Queen, still stands. It is referred to as Brooks Mansion. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad later connected this portion of Washington County to downtown.
Change came rapidly during and after the American Civil War. First, Fort Slemmer and Fort Bunker Hill were constructed as defenses against the Confederate Army, and later the Old Soldiers' Home was constructed to the northwest. The population of the city itself increased with the expansion of the federal government, and the former Brooks family estate became a housing tract named "Brookland."
With the construction of nearby Sherwood, University Heights, and other tracts, a middle-class "streetcar suburb" developed, and eventually its expansion southward met Washington's northward. Many Queen Anne style and other Victorian homes still stand.
In 1887, the Catholic Church purchased the adjacent Middletown estate as the site for CUA. The presence of CUA attracted many other Catholic organizations and institutions to the area, including Trinity College, established 1897 and the Franciscan monastery in 1905. Construction of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, to be the patronal church of the United States, began in 1920. Nearly 60 Catholic institutions called the neighborhood home by 1940. The area near Brookland has been nicknamed "Little Rome" by some for the many Catholic institutions clustered around The Catholic University of America (CUA)
A Diverse Community
While mostly Caucasian at its founding, Brookland integrated in the 20th century, especially after the white flight of Irish Catholics after World War II. Although there was some hostility directed at early black integration of the neighborhood, by the middle of the century, Brookland had developed into a neighborhood fairly integrated among economic classes and races. During the mid-twentieth century Brookland could boast of such prominent residents as Ralph Bunche, Sterling Brown, Edward Brooke, Rayford W. Logan , and Pearl Bailey. It remains a relatively diverse and stable area of Washington.
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