The Kennedy Homes of Georgetown
3321 Dent St.
3321 Dent is on your left. We’re carrying on past it, to take the next right onto 33rd Street. Our next stop is my favorite stop on the tour: 3307 N Street where the Kennedy’s lived until they moved to the White House.
Walking down 33rd Street provides more of a look of old Georgetown and some of the oddities that make it feel historic. For instance, you’ll see some black iron stars on the sides of homes. Believe it or not, there are metal rods in the center of those stars that connect that wall to the one on the other side of the house. Instead of nails, those early 1800s builders used rods to connect homes. Theoretically, you could pry off the bolts and the house would fall apart, but I somehow doubt that would really happen. Those black stars are often a designation of a historic home.
You’ll also see a single black letter on some homes. It’s usually a colonial designation for the founding owner’s occupation. Now they’re usually a little stretched because the marks were made by a blacksmith, not a graphic designer.
The homes on this street are a little larger and newer than where you started, but it’s every bit the colonial section.
The rich and famous have certainly walked these streets. Long before the White House opened in 1800 and the U.S. Capitol in 1801, Georgetown is where “society” leaders dwelled. George Washington reportedly liked to buy his whiskey from Georgetown merchants before becoming the nation’s biggest whiskey maker himself after retiring as president.
Third president Thomas Jefferson lived in Georgetown. 18th president Ulysses S. Grant, the northern general who won the American Civil War, had a summer home on R. Street More than a century later. Successive presidents Harry S. Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon all lived in Georgetown and ate at Martin’s Tavern, which we’ll soon visit.
And, the great actress Elizabeth Taylor lived on S Street in the 1970s and early ‘80s while married to U.S. Senator John Warner. Inventor Alexander Graham Bell created the earliest switching office for the Bell System and it’s still a telephone facility in Georgetown.
The 2010 U.S. Census says the average Georgetown resident earns $88,000 annually, about twice the city average. But, that’s skewed because so many university students rent homes. To afford these homes, household income is often $250,000 or more.
Georgetown was part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War that funneled slaves from the South to freedom up north. And, many blacks moved into the area after the war until the 1940s.