Lincoln Playground Field House

This playground field house is unique in its construction and in that it served African American children during the era of playground segregation in DC.

Built in 1934 and located on what is now the Joy Evans Recreation Center site, the Lincoln Playground Field House is one of the earliest purpose-built public recreation facilities remaining in a District of Columbia park. It is one of a handful of contemporaneous park field houses designed to resemble a Tidewater hall-and-parlor house, inspired by Colonial Williamsburg and by the Commission of Fine Arts' preference for Colonial-style neighborhood facilities. It was the only one of these constructed for a segregated African American playground, as well as the only one whose primary structural material is brick rather than frame.

The field house is the work of Municipal Architect Albert L. Harris (1869-1934), whose work is closely identified with civic architecture citywide. Furthermore, it is the only example of this type located outside of Northwest Washington—in this case, in Southeast—and the only example constructed on a “colored” playground during the period in which Washington playgrounds were segregated. It is also one of two examples of this type constructed as a Civil Works Administration project.

Nominated by Historic Washington Architecture
DC Inventory: February 25, 2016



555 L Street SE