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November 19, 2011

So for the next two weeks I'll be on Jenkins Hill.

To most people who actually live in Washington, D.C., Jenkins Hill is the name of a now-defunct but enormously popular yuppie bar near Pennsylvania and 3rd, Southeast, that helped break up a lot of marriages in the 1980s and 1990s. It's also the name of an ancient plot of land which became Capitol Hill--but hardly anyone can tell you much about a Mr. Jenkins who once owned it. People agree on one point only. In the early 1790s, Pierre L'Enfant, the French architect charged with laying out the new Federal City, kept referring to "Jenkins Hill" and "Jenkins Heights" as the prominent hill where he wanted to build his "Congress House".


"West Front of the Capitol," about 1828, sketch by John Rubens Smith.

Posted by JD Hull at November 19, 2011 11:59 PM


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