McLean Gardens complex to host 75th anniversary celebration

McLean Gardens is a condo complex located along Wisconsin Avenue NW between Cleveland Park and Tenleytown. (Brian Kapur/The Current/June 2015)

This weekend, McLean Gardens will host a 75th anniversary celebration — commemorating the federal government’s purchase of the sprawling Wisconsin Avenue NW site to construct garden-style buildings for World War II workers, replacing the elegant summer home built by John McLean in the 1890s. After years as rental properties in the ensuing decades, deteriorating conditions and a failed development scheme ultimately resulted in a tenant-led conversion to a condominium complex.

Festivities will take place on Sunday, Sept. 24, with a historical talk and street festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Presentations will kick off at 12:45 p.m. in the McLean Gardens Ballroom at 3811 Porter St. NW. Speakers will include D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton; John DeFerrari, author of “Lost Washington, D.C.”; and Cindy Gueli, author of “Lipstick Brigade: The Untold True Story of Washington’s World War II Government Girls.”

The festival will feature food trucks, face painting, a balloon artist, a magician, lawn games, a jazz band, a photo booth, a best-dressed pet contest and a scavenger hunt.

Admission is free. For details, contact