Capitol Hill Restoration Society

2018 Dick Wolf Memorial Lecture – New Discoveries at the Shotgun House

Posted on February 21st, 2018

The 2018 Dick Wolf Lecture “New Discoveries at the Shotgun House Archaeology Project” was presented at Hill Center on Friday, March 23, 2018. The Dick Wolf Memorial Lecture is an annual event sponsored by CHRS to showcase excellence in research and writing on urban planning and historic preservation in the District of Columbia by a student or intern. The winner presents a lecture on his or her research and receives a $1,000 prize.

Christine Ames

The winner of the 2018 Dick Wolf Memorial Lecture competition is Christine Ames, who worked on the Shotgun House Archaeology Project in Capitol Hill as a Capital City Fellow with the District Government from 2016 to 2017. Christine’s lecture focused on a trash midden (pit) buried in the backyard of 1229 E St, SE. After learning the Shotgun House was home to a few colorful residents, Christine was curious about the contents of the trash pit – if they could be associated with these former occupants, the possible events that led to their disposal, and, more broadly, what insights they offer into the daily lives and households of these occupants. Christine’s lecture also described the processing of artifacts, detailing the work that is undertaken in the lab once the fieldwork is completed. The lecture was preceded by a brief membership meeting. Following her lecture, a panel discussed the major points of her lecture:

Bob Sonderman: Archeologist, former member of the Historic Preservation Review Board, active resident of Capitol Hill and now serves as Curator/Director, Museum Resource Center, National Park Service

Stephen Hansen: Architectural historian and former professional archaeologist, author of A History of Dupont Circle and Kalorama Triangle, and president of the Committee of 100. Formerly worked with the Cultural Resources Division, US Park Service and is now principal at Preservation Matters, LLC.

Emma Seabright: Architect, designer of the new residences built around the reconstructed Shotgun House, on the project team for the Capitol Courts development; a 117 apartment, mixed-use building located on the lot adjacent to the archeological site.

Christine is a Registered Professional Archaeologist, having received her Master’s in Archaeological Heritage Management from Boston University and her Bachelor’s in Anthropology from Syracuse University. She continues to be involved in the Shotgun House Archaeology Project as a contractor with GroundworkDC, working with the D.C. Historic Preservation Office. She was born in Washington, D.C., raised in Montgomery County, MD, and currently resides in Capitol Hill. She is extremely happy to be able to help preserve the history of the area in which she grew up, for future generations.

Emma Seabright, Elizabeth Nelson, Christine Ames, Monte Edwards, Stephen Hansen

Presentation of the award

Christine Ames, 2018 winner of the Dick Wolf Prize

Christine Ames and panelists Stephen Hansen, Emma Seabright, Bob Sonderman

Dr. Ruth Trocolli, DC Archaeologist

Christine Ames and Event Organizer, Monte Edwards with the Wolf family

Dr. Ruth Trocolli, DC Archaeologist


Shotgun House archaeological site