Kalorama Park and Archaeological Site

This park in Kalorama also includes an archaeological site commemorated as part of the Underground Railroad.

The three-acre Kalorama Park contains the Kalorama Playground Archaeological Site, also known as the John Little House. The site represents the remains of John Little’s home and farm and is the place from which Hortense Prout, an enslaved woman, attempted escape during the Civil War. The site’s period of significance extends from 1836 to 1903, through the Little family tenure of the property. The Little house, constructed in the 1830s, was demolished in the 20th century, prior to the establishment of the park. The park is now part of the National Park Service's National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, and a marker commemorates Hortense Prout's escape to freedom.

Kalorama Park was created from two parcels acquired for park use in 1942 and 1946, respectively. The current layout of the upper portion of the park and the design of the recreation building (east side) were designed and built by the NPS and the DC Recreation Board in 1947. The design remains fairly intact today, although the current plaza area was originally slated as a spray park and shuffleboard courts were proposed at the southeast corner. It is not known if either of these amenities was ever realized. In 1971, NPS transferred jurisdiction of the park to the city, at which time improvements were made to the lower portion, primarily in the area of the basketball and tennis court.

DC Inventory: November 19, 2015
National Register: April 21, 2016
Within Kalorama Triangle Historic District

This site is included in the Capital City Slavery Tour as a place of enslavement for thirteen to seventeen individuals who labored on John Little's cattle farm. It is also notable as the site of Hortense Prout's daring escape. For further information on slavery in the District, view DC Preservation League's Capital City Slavery Digital Exhibit



1865 Kalorama Road NW