NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant, Shaw/Logan Circle, Architecturally Significant, African American, Female, Harlem Renaissance Era, Howard University, Journalists, LGBTQ, Also of Interest

Zora Neale Hurston
(January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960)

3017 Sherman Ave. NW, Columbia Heights neighborhood, DC.

A novelist, short story writer, anthropologist, and folklorist, Hurston is the author of four novels, Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), and Seraph on the Suwanee (1948). She also published nonfiction, including two books of folklore, Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938), and the memoir Dust Tracks on a Road (1942). Between 1918 and 1924, Hurston began her undergraduate degree at Howard University. She completed her college degree at Barnard College in New York in 1927.

Hurston later worked as an anthropologist, conducting field studies under a Guggenheim Fellowship, and as a journalist, teacher, and freelance writer.

Hurston rented a room at this first location in 1922 or '23 while a student at Howard University. The Phyllis Wheatley YWCA was briefly Hurston's home in 1924, also while she was a student at Howard.

Hurston is also remembered locally with a restaurant, Eatonville, named for her place of birth in Florida.

Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, 901 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Shaw neighborhood, DC.
Not open to the public.

Year: 1920.
The first and only independent African American YWCA in the US, this Colonial Revival building rented rooms and was a meeting place for a range of local and national organizations serving African Americans. It was named for the first published African American poet. Phillis Wheatley was a slave brought by ship from Africa to Boston in 1761, who published Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral in 1773.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.


Humanities Council of Washington, "Zora Neale Hurston's Washington"
Eatonville Restaurant
The Baltimore Literary Heritage Project

Author photo courtesy of Library of Congress.