Skip

The Tragic Knickerbocker Storm of 1922
February 6, 2010 10:44 AM   Subscribe

The Knickerbocker Theater was an old-fashioned movie palace in Washington, DC designed by Reginald W. Geare for local theatre mogul, Harry Crandall. On January 28, 1922, while patrons were watching Jimmy Durante's film debut in the comedy Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford, 28 inches of snow caused the Knickerboof's roof to collapse, killing 98 people, in an event still known as the Knickerbocker snowstorm of 1922.

For more information, see a letter from a survivor, some silent newsreel footage, and the Washington Post's front-page coverage of the disaster.

Over the years, the theater disaster would claim two more lives. Having both of their careers ruined by the disaster, the architect Reginald Geare would commit suicide in 1927, while the theater owner Harry Crandall would commit suicide in 1937.
posted by jonp72 (23 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, the newscasters here in DC just now announced a church collapse due to the snow.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:49 AM on February 6, 2010


Shit. I saw a reference to the Knickerbocker snowstorm in a National Weather Service bulletin the other day, but I had no idea about the actual incident. That's tragic.

For what it's worth, the accumulation here in Baltimore is rivaling the Great Snowdump of 2003, and it's still coming down.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:51 AM on February 6, 2010


Also, the Knickerbocker storm is the record snow fall for the District.

Until today?
posted by jindc at 10:52 AM on February 6, 2010


And remember: every time Bob Ryan says the word "Knickerbocker" everyone has to take a drink!
posted by JoanArkham at 11:02 AM on February 6, 2010


I'm away from DC right now... does anyone have pictures of the current snowpocalypse?
posted by phrontist at 11:06 AM on February 6, 2010


Yeah...uh...great timing on that post. I'm going to prop up the ceiling now.
posted by Vhanudux at 11:27 AM on February 6, 2010


It's supposed to snow for another 10 hours or something like that.
posted by empath at 11:29 AM on February 6, 2010


Wow, the newscasters here in DC just now announced a church collapse due to the snow.

Thank God it wasn't occupied.
posted by jonp72 at 11:30 AM on February 6, 2010


THere was supposedly another snowball fight at 14th and U today.
posted by empath at 11:33 AM on February 6, 2010


Live traffic camera pointing at the DuPont Circle mass snowball fight.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:43 AM on February 6, 2010


Non-munged link.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:44 AM on February 6, 2010


^ phrontist: I'm away from DC right now... does anyone have pictures of the current snowpocalypse?

Here you go phrontist: dcist snomgasm (flickr), snowmageddon dc (flickr), snowpocalpypse 2010 dc (flickr)
posted by skenfrith at 11:47 AM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]




Hm. More of a shed than a church, really. Slightly less grandiose than the Knickerbocker Theater.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:19 PM on February 6, 2010


Here's one of the best investments I've ever made. It's called a roof rake, and it's a backwards- facing snow shovel on a long-long-long handle. You stand on the ground and maneuver the head of the rake up onto the roof and pull the snow down. I do this whenever we got more than 8 inches. Not only does it prevent a heavy snowfall from compressing the timbers in the wood frame of my house (and admitting water into the joints), it makes it less likely that damaging ice dams will form once a big snowfall starts melting and refreezing.
posted by Faze at 12:42 PM on February 6, 2010


Roof rake link: http://www.amazon.com/Suncast-SRR2100-24-Inch-Shovel-20-Foot/dp/B0007NY3DA.
posted by Faze at 12:43 PM on February 6, 2010


The first link says "On Friday, January 21, 1922, ... 28 inches of snow in the worst storm the city had seen since 1889. "
I saw at least 2 links that said the biggest snowfall was January 27-28, 1922 ... 28 inches.
Did the theater fall down a week before the snowfall?
What happened in 1889?
posted by MtDewd at 12:46 PM on February 6, 2010


Just got off the phone with my Mother in the DC suburbs, and came across this thread. I find this photo, of the aftermath of the collapse, kind of amazing.
posted by jrb223 at 1:11 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


We've been wondering about this all day; thank you. Well, we have nothing else to do but sit around and wonder about stuff. We're trapped in the house by 24 inches of snow.
posted by acrasis at 1:27 PM on February 6, 2010


Kn*ck*rb*ck*r.
posted by Evilspork at 2:30 PM on February 6, 2010


"Knickerboof"?!
posted by webmutant at 2:33 PM on February 6, 2010


Just to bring this up to date for all you trendy MeFites who live in or frequent NW DC, the address of the Knickerbocker was at 18th street and Columbia Road -- yes, the heart of Adams Morgan. A bank was on the site when I lived there, dunno about now.
posted by Rash at 2:51 PM on February 6, 2010


There was supposedly another snowball fight at 14th and U today.

Don't know about that, but Meridian Hill Park and Dupont Circle (which each hosted large-scale snowball fights) were both mobbed with people today.
posted by kittyprecious at 4:55 PM on February 6, 2010


« Older And they're all from Barcelona   |   It's not a first-rate love... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post