There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Here’s an easy explanation for the latest weird development in the broadening scandal that forced the resignation of CIA chief David Petraeus last week: Alleged Petraeus mistress Paula Broadwell‘s North Carolina driver’s license was found recently in Rock Creek Park because, apparently, she is staying in Mount Pleasant.
That, anyway, is what the camera crews stationed outside a house on Park Road NW believe—-a cameraman from ABC told me he’s been there since about 3 p.m. today. They said they spotted Broadwell eating dinner earlier in the evening. Some media accounts have placed Broadwell, 40, whose maiden name is Kranz, at the home of her brother; D.C. public records show the Park Road residence belongs to Stephen Kranz, 45.
Standing in the alley behind the home around 8:45 p.m., two of the cameraman started filming suddenly when a woman entered the home’s kitchen. (I’ll admit that in the dark, I couldn’t tell if it was Broadwell. But an Associated Press photographer got this shot of a woman who is clearly her.) In front of the house, another ABC cameraman and one from WUSA9 were debating how invasive is too invasive when filming a person of interest in a private home (they were both on the side of not getting too invasive). I was getting cold, and several people in my Twitter feed who’d seen the Instagram of the home that I’d posted were accusing me of stalking. So I headed home, abandoning the TV crews there to sit until someone back at their bureaus decided to be merciful and let them do the same.
My friend asked a man who was walking his dog what he thought about the small gathering of cameramen. It’s pretty funny, the man said.
The man remarked that the home is notable for another reason. It’s the Kraemer House, which played an important role in the neighborhood’s desegregation. From the guidebook to the Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail:
In 1948 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of houses to individuals of certain races or ethnicities could not be enforced. Two years later, Dr. Robert Deane became the first African American to purchase a house in Mount Pleasant that carried the old covenant. But it wasn’t easy.
The Deanes bought 1841 Park Road from Lillian Kraemer Curry. Curry had inherited the house, built in 1906, from her father Charles Kraemer, a German immigrant wine and spirits merchant. In the 1920s the all-white Mount Pleasant Citizens Association began promoting a covenant binding homeowners never to sell their houses to “negroes.” Kraemer and most of his neighbors signed it. Even though the Supreme Court had outlawed this practice when Kraemer’s daughter sold the house to the prominent black gynecologist in 1950, a small group of neighbors sued to stop the sale based on the old covenant. The neighbors lost in court, and Dr. Deane owned the house until his death in 2001.
The article originally misspelled the last name Kranz. Photos by Jonathan L. Fischer