Villa Park Heights Washington, D. C.
Villa Park Heights Washington, D. C.

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Villa Park Heights Washington, D. C.

Washington D.C.: Edwin R. Marden, 1911. Chromolithograph printed in yellow, green, and black, 23.5” x 22” Printed text at verso. CONDITION: Very good, light toning along old folds.

A scarce and attractive promotional map for the proposed development Villa Park Heights in Washington D.C., featuring a circle memorializing President McKinley intended to attract wealthy buyers—an overt attempt to imitate a phenomenon attending other memorial circles and squares in Washington.

This plat map depicts the northern section of Villa Park—located on an eminence just across the border from Mount Rainier, Maryland—as envisioned by the developers. Featured is McKinley Circle, which includes a portrait of President McKinley, who was assassinated in 1901. Numerous numbered plots along Hoover Place surround the circle and additional plots are shown to the northwest. On the left is realtor Edwin R. Marden’s name and address, and on the right is the certification of M. C. Hazen, Surveyor, “Office of the Surveyor D.C.” Text entitled “Why a Lot in Villa Park Heights is a Good Investment” appears in the lower left corner and describes the development as some of the only vacant land available in the District of Columbia. Such desirable characteristics of the city are cited as its beauty, fast growth, street-car service, beautiful squares and circles containing heroic statues of the nation's great figures, property improvement and beautification paid for by the U.S. Government, and so forth. It is noted that around Washington’s squares and circles are found the private residences of Washington’s elite, a circumstance cited to gin up interest in the development: “In due time the building sites adjacent to this circle, dedicated to one of America's most beloved martyrs, should bring prices that will mean fortunes to those who purchase at present figures. Buy anywhere in Villa Park Heights and you will be making a good investment.” Text on the verso, bearing the title "Price List of Lots—Villa Park Heights," lists properties shown on the recto, including lot number, square footage, price per square foot ($.15 to $.60), and total cost of the land. The terms of sale are also detailed.

Ultimately, this proposed development was not realized, due to the death of developer Edwin R. Marden in 1914, which led to a lawsuit involving his wife Clara Marden and his business partner, Earl P. Hopkins. The two men were also partners in the Washington Civil Services School. Marden owned the National Co-operative Realty Company.

WorldCat records only two copies, at Yale and Columbia University.

REFERENCES: Ford, Richard A., editor. The Daily Washington Law Reporter, Vol. 46 (Washington D.C., Law Reporter Printing Co., 1918), p. 18.

Item #7093

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