Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg

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Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg was a housing project on Capitol Hill in Southeast Washington, D.C. Arthur Capper was known to the residents as "Capers."[1] First built in 1958, the project consisted of the Arthur Capper Senior, Arthur Capper Family, and Carrollsburg Family developments, and housed 707 households.[1] The project's architect was Hilyard Robinson. It was named for Kansas Senator Arthur Capper who as chair of the District of Columbia Committee helped create the first housing authority in D.C.

Social and cultural life[edit]

The Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg project was well known for its sports teams, including the semi-pro football team Washington Stonewalls. Founded in 1946 by Ben Wright, by 1995, the team was recognized as the oldest "continuously operating"[2] semi-pro football team in the United States. The team's first coach was Richard Perry and notable former players include former Major League Baseball player Maury Wills and Luke C. Moore, a DC Superior Court judge for whom a D.C. Public School is named.[2][3] The Arthur Capper Recreation Center was the team's practice field and where the team sometimes hosted teams from other predominately black neighborhoods in Washington, DC as well as teams from different states.[2]

The Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg community was also known for musical groups and the Arthur Capper Recreation Center.[citation needed] In 1970 the Martin Luther King Jr. Food Cooperative was opened and operated by and for the residents.[4] One of the prominent leaders was Beatrice Gray.

The closing of Arthur Capper[edit]

In 2001, D.C. received a $34.9 million Hope VI grant to redevelop the 23-acre Capper/Carrollsburg public housing project as a mixed-income community.[5] The new buildings at the site are now called Capitol Quarter.[6]

According to Faye Harrison, the 2007 American Anthropological Association Program Chair, "In response to Hope VI’s plan to demolish Capers’ 707 units, Friends and Residents of Arthur Capper and Carrollsburg was founded in 1999. The neighborhood watchdog organization aims to protect the rights of residents in the relocation process." [7] Anu Yadav wrote a play called "Capers" based on her work with this group and her research in the community.[8] The D.C. Humanities Council funded this work. Parts of the play appeared in the film "Chocolate City."[9]

In 2007, the new Arthur Capper Seniors Building opened with 162 units. The Capper residents have been waiting for ten years for the rebuilding of the Arthur Capper Recreation Center, which is now being called the Community Center.

Today, the Arthur Capper community has a Facebook page and a website with an oral history project.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Vargas, Jose Antonio (November 4, 2004). "All the Neighborhood's a Stage". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ a b c Montgomery, David; Montgomery, David (1995-11-04). "SOLID AS A STONE WALL". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  3. ^ "School Profiles Home". Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  4. ^ "Food Co-Op Opens at Capper Housing". DC Gazette. February 3, 1970. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "DCHA CELEBRATES BRAND NEW NEIGHBORHOOD". Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ Harrison, Faye (2007). "Life Stories, Grassroots Activism, Theatrical Performance". 
  8. ^ "All the Neighborhood's a Stage". The Washington Post. November 4, 2004. 
  9. ^ Broyles, Carla (April 27, 2012). "Style". The Washington Post. 
  10. ^ "Arthur Capper Public Housing Oral History Project". 

External links[edit]