Friday, November 4, 2011

Famous writers lived in Columbia Heights: Ambrose Bierce, Zora Neale Hurston, more

Did you know that some famous authors lived around our neighborhood? I just heard about a really cool effort from DC writers Kim Roberts and Dan Vera, who spent more than 5 years tracking down where writers lived in and around DC. There's 120 writers on their website,, and you can sort it by type or location.

There's bios of each writer with a picture of their house (or its location if it's not there) and also a map, which shows that there a few folks in the Columbia Heights area, like Zora Neale Hurston (3017 Sherman), a Harlem Renaissance writer who wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God and did a lot more, Ambrose Bierce (a two-time Columbia Heights resident, the Olympia at 1368 Euclid and the El Dorado at 1321 Fairmont), famous for The Devil's Dictionary and "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge" and who later disappeared, and actress and author Pearl Bailey (1300 Florida).

There's some other authors in Mt. Pleasant and Adams Morgan, plus a ton more all over the city. It's worth browsing the site and the map. 

Really neat stuff, great to see this. Here's more about who put the project together. Roberts and Vera are presenting a lecture about the making of the site on Friday at the Institute for Policy Studies, 1112 16th Street NW, suite 600, for those interested.


  1. Thanks for the post about the site. I'm one of the two creators. The event on December 9th is open to the public and we'd love to share more about the research that went into the creation of the site. - Dan Vera

  2. Thank you! Can you tell us some more about the event?


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