Quality Hill

Great American Rail-Trail

Politics, Policy & Justice

Quality Hill in 1972, captured from the opposite corner of 35th and Prospect Street.

This old house dates from 1798 and has been occupied by many notable Washingtonians, including Dr. Charles Worthington—who was one of the founders of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia—and Senator Clairborne Pell, D-R.I., who is best known for the legislation that created the Basic Education Opportunity Grant, renamed the Pell Grant in his honor. [1]

He also authored the bills that paved the way for the founding of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. Pell was an eccentric, and his obituary relates that “Mr. Pell was an avid jogger, but he often wore a tweed sport coat when running, and he pushed for congressional investigations into ESP and UFOs.” [2]

The current occupant of the house is the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, which plans to open up for exhibitions about the 30th president.


  • [1] “National Register of Historic Places, Quality Hill, Washington, DC, National Register #72001431.


    [2] “William H. Honan, “Claiborne Pell, Patrician Senator Behind College Grant Program, Dies at 90,” New York Times, January 1, 2009,

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