Francis Griffith Newlands Memorial Fountain

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Francis Griffith Newlands Memorial Fountain
Francis Griffith Newlands Memorial Fountain.jpg
Francis Griffith Newlands Memorial Fountain is located in District of Columbia
Francis Griffith Newlands Memorial Fountain
Location Chevy Chase Circle, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°58′10″N 77°4′38″W / 38.96944°N 77.07722°W / 38.96944; -77.07722Coordinates: 38°58′10″N 77°4′38″W / 38.96944°N 77.07722°W / 38.96944; -77.07722
Built 1938
Architect Edward Wilton Donn
NRHP Reference # 07001058 [1][2]
Added to NRHP October 12, 2007[3]

Francis Griffith Newlands Memorial Fountain is a historic fountain located at Chevy Chase Circle, on the border between the Chevy Chase neighborhood, Northwest, Washington, D.C., and the community of Chevy Chase, Maryland. The fountain was designed by Edward W. Donn, Jr. in 1933 and erected in 1938. The project was funded by Newlands' widow.[4][5]

The fountain honors Francis G. Newlands, a U.S. senator and founder of Chevy Chase, Maryland. In 1902, Newland sponsored the Newlands Reclamation Act which allowed the federal government to begin irrigation of the West. He founded the Chevy Chase Land Co. which established neighborhoods on the D.C.-Maryland border.[4] He purchased over 1,700 acres (690 ha) of land and named it "Chevy Chase" to honor his Scottish homeland. In 1990, the fountain was refurbished by the Chevy Chase Land Co. to recognize the 100th anniversary of the founding of Chevy Chase. The fountain was rededicated and recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

In December 2014, a proposal was made by Gary Thompson, a member of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, to rename the fountain due to Newlands' white supremacist views.[6] Several of Newlands' descendants responded with a letter to the Chevy Chase Advisory Neighborhood Commission opposing renaming the fountain and asserting that the proposed resolution was misleading and discounted Newlands' legislative and civic accomplishments. Because the fountain is on National Park Service land and named by Congress, changes would likely require an act of Congress and agreement from several agencies including the National Park Service.[4][6]

Thompson asserted that Newlands excluded non-whites from the neighborhood, but the Chevy Chase Historical Society reported that Newlands never included racial covenants in the land deeds for Chevy Chase. Such restrictions were not included in the early deeds, but some sections of Chevy Chase included race and religion restrictions by the 1930s. However, these were not created by Newlands, who died in 1917. The Historical Society conceded that while Newlands' views on race are on public record, they were widely held beliefs throughout the nation during Newlands' lifetime.[6]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/dc/district+of+columbia/state7.html
  2. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ http://landmarkhunter.com/196427-francis-griffith-newlands-memorial-fountain/
  4. ^ a b c Bill Turque (February 17, 2015). "Senator's descendants urge no change in name of Chevy Chase fountain". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Aaron Kraut (December 1, 2014). "D.C. Residents Want Name of 'Racist' Taken Off Chevy Chase Fountain". Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Aaron Kraut (December 9, 2014). "D.C. Group Tables Discussion of Newlands' Name on Chevy Chase Fountain". Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 

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