"A home can be more than a roof over your head," says Geoffrey Baer. It can be a retreat, refuge, work of art, and even a symbol of one's identity. In the three-part series produced by WTTW, "10 That Changed America," host Baer journeys into 10 homes that have influenced the nation in some way. After exploring an Eames House in California and Marina City in Chicago, he turns his attention to the Langston Terrace Dwellings in the Northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C.
This development opened 1938 as the first federally funded housing project in D.C. and the second in the U.S. Rather than cram as many tenements together, African American architect Hillyard Robinson instead laid out spacious green spaces and integrated the buildings into the rolling landscape. A central courtyard also offered a community gathering place, while a decorative frieze, called, "The Progress of the Negro Race," was installed, depicting the Northern migration of African Americans.
The project is named after abolitionist, founder of Howard University Law School, and U.S. congressman from Virginia John Mercer Langston. The development was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
To learn more about the development, be sure to check out the video at the top of this article, or see more of WTTW's series on homes here.
• Langston Terrace Dwellings [WTTW]