Built in 1910, Howard Theatre was the top address when U St was known as 'Black Broadway.' Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and other famed names lit the marquee. Now big-name comedians and blues, gospel and jazz acts fill the house. There's a photo op out front with the steel-and-granite statue of Ellington pounding the keys of a swirling treble clef.
The Howard was the first major theater to feature black entertainers performing for a predominantly black clientele. It closed in the early 1980s when the neighborhood declined, then reopened in 2012 after a $29 million renovation. The interior sparkles, from the black walnut paneling to the oak floors and huge portraits of Ellington and his jazzy friends.