DC’s Funeral Homes are Disappearing. Here’s Why That Makes Us Sad.

DC’s Funeral Homes are Disappearing. Here’s Why That Makes Us Sad.


One way to get a feel of ways a town lives is to take a look at the way it dies—or instead, who looks after its deceased. In recent years, the District has seen a lot of its African-American–owned funeral houses either shut down or move to greater remote places as gentrification has caused assets values to soar in neighborhoods inclusive of Shaw and Petworth.

the former website online of Grace Murray Funeral home on Georgia street will quickly be occupied with the aid of an 18-unit apartment constructing. Austin Royster Funeral domestic in Columbia Heights has been replaced with the aid of a condominium building. Frazier’s Funeral home, which served Shaw for nearly 80 years, has given way to an condominium residence in which rents start at $2,three hundred a month. A Petworth assets once occupied by using Latney’s Funeral domestic is awaiting demolition.

The closures aren’t truely a barometer of gentrification. they are able to have deep symbolic resonance for network contributors who for generations have accrued at these places during some of the most tough moments of their lives. With longtime residents, the local funeral parlor “buried their grandma, buried their father,” says Frankie L. Washington, president of the country wide Funeral directors & Morticians association, a exchange organization for black-owned funeral houses.

The impact of that kind of loss is huge. “The neighborhoods in DC are converting so rapid, and the those who pass in now, I don’t recognize whether they need the funeral domestic there,” says Milton Tellington, who moved his Petworth business, Tri-nation Funeral offerings, to a new spot close to the Maryland border in 2016. “people had self belief in those funeral homes. after they don’t have them anymore, they must go through that enjoy with doubt. ”

this article appears inside the February 2018 difficulty of Washingtonian.

extra: funeral home gentrification Small companies

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