Historic U Street gets its own visitor center, heritage trail

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The historic district of Washington once known as the “Black Broadway” now has its own neighborhood heritage trail and visitor center.

The group Cultural Tourism D.C. has introduced an audio tour for Washington’s U Street area. You can download it for free from the organization’s Web site; the link can be found at the bottom of the lefthand side of the organization’s home page at http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/.

In addition, a visitor center opened Feb. 26 near 12th and U streets.

Visitors can learn about the cultural life of this African American neighborhood in the first half of the 20th century. It was home to jazz great Duke Ellington. Clubs and theaters drew top performers.

Stops on the tour include the restored Lincoln Theater and the site of the first luxury hotel for African Americans in the once segregated capital city.

Narrators for the audio tour include Kamal Ben Ali, co-owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, and Korva Coleman of National Public Radio.