Stoddert Field House, 1958.
In the era of the District Commissioners, when Washingtonians were obliged to bring their requests for municipal improvements to Congress, this modest structure made the news!
“Chairman Louis C. Rabaut (D., Mich.) of the House District Appropriations sub-committee, today said he will not let any “gold-domed antelope houses” creep into the District’s 1958-59 budget. He was referring specifically to a request to build a $712,000 structure for the National Zoo’s antelopes; but he made it clear he also was talking generally about all appropriation requests he heard yesterday.”
“Forty-four persons testified. There were officers from P-TA groups, colleges, medical schools and societies, citizens associations, patriotic groups, industries and Government agencies. Requests ranged from elimination of the food sales tax… which Mr. Rabaut indicated the subcommittee favors… to the building of a new field house at Stoddert Elementary School in Glover Park.”
“Charles H. Hillegeist, chairman of the Glover Park Citizens Association’s recreation committee, told Congress this converted tool shed has served as a field house at Stoddert School Playground for 20 years, ‘without a toilet, electricity or central heating.'”
(“Rep. Rabaut Rides Herd on D.C. Budget”, Washington Daily News, June 4, 1958, p.9)
Years earlier, when the words “juvenile” and “delinquent” were frequently linked in the press, Charles H. Hillegeist, a Glover Park real estate dealer, had backed the acquisition of a used army barracks, to be located on the school grounds, as a “canteen for teen-agers”. The young organizers of the project were Herman P. Van Eckhardt, Ralph Tibbs, Grayson Jones, and Marjorie and Barbara Calloway, who undertook the project “for fun, and to keep boys and girls off the streets and out of beer joints”. (“Glover Park Youngsters Start Own Canteen for Teen-agers”, Washington Times Herald, September 29, 1945)
(“Glover Park Youngsters Start Own Canteen for Teen-agers”, Washington Times Herald, September 29, 1945)
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