I posted awhile ago about some cool old maps, and made a reference to the team, but I've learned a lot more recently. The team played in the American Basketball League from 1925 to 1927 and was called Palace Five because it was sponsored by Palace Laundry, which used to have a lot of locations in the area -- hence the nickname Laundrymen. One of the laundry's locations became the Adams Mill Bar (RIP) while another may have been at 14th and Harvard, if the reflection in the glass in this photo is the Urban League building.
Interestingly, Palace Laundry was owned by George Preston Marshall, the first owner of the Redskins. The team folded and/or was sold, becoming the Brooklyn Visitations. Maybe the the Laundrymen whetted Marshall's appetite for more successful pro teams? If so, Redskins fans should thank our local team. The Palace 5ive skate shop at 14th and Florida named itself after the team too.
the Arcade, a huge "amusement palace" on 14th between Irving and Park, where DCUSA is now. The place was crazy, with a 4,000 seat arena, skating rink, movie theater, 19 bowling lanes, dancing, 15 billiards tables, a soda fountain, wrestling matches, even a roller hockey team. I would go there in a second if this place still existed. Imagine if this place came back to DCUSA.
It started out as a car barn (where trolley cars go) and garage, and later added a market, then the huge arcade/movie/arena/etc. You can read a bit more about it here, and it's also mentioned on the Columbia Heights Heritage Trail. I plan to write a post about the place soon, and PoP wrote a brief one awhile ago. The building became the amusement hall in 1910 and was demolished in 1948.
So, back to hoops. I found these great shots of players on Shorpy.com and the Library of Congress's website. The team finished 2nd and 3rd in their seasons, and in the first game they beat the Brooklyn Five 18-17. The knee pads are interesting. And I want a t-shirt of one of those logos -- anybody out there make shirts?
|Funky Charleston with the ladies at the Arcade|
|Grody or Gerody, the team's center. Also in the top photo.|
|James Lemon of Central High's basketball team at the Arcade (I believe). Central became Cardozo High and Lemon later owned the Washington Senators baseball team. He sold them to Bob Short, who moved to team to Texas, where they became the Rangers.|