Luther Reason Ray

The Circle Theatre
Luther R. Ray Architect
Vitrolite Products Washington
created 1935

The Circle was located at 2105 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. It was torn down in the 1980s.
In his younger days, my dad took advantage of their low priced ticketbook – also popular with homeless in the area.

I wonder if Ray was an Eddie Cantor fan?

More info on the Circle

The theater name isn’t on this one- can anyone identify it? Likely in DC, possibly in Maryland. Probably long since bulldozed.

According to the plan, the front would be walnut agate vitrolite, precast stone and stainless.


Hahn’s Shoes
The placement of all the windows and dimensions look almost identical to their 1891 store at 7th and K streets Washington, which burned in 1937.
Source: Shorpy

Alterations to the Hilltop Market – Meats – Groceries
Hilltop Market, 5706 Georgia Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.


Carr Bros and Boswell
71 Maryland Avenue, Hyattsville, Maryland


Super A&P market


Little Tavern Design

The first Washington DC Little Tavern, located at 814 E Street, NW, opened its doors in 1928. It appears the site is now the home of a twelve story apartment building and a Bank of Georgetown.

Early Little Taverns seem to have had a design similar to that of 1920s White Castles and White Towers.

By 1931, the Tudor Cottage Design had been adopted


In 1937, it was updated with a bit more of a moderne syle

Typical Plans and detail


A design from 1949

And a later, simplified design. What I’ve found on this one points to a date of construction in 1974
This one was found in Silver Spring, Maryland until relatively recently. When it was torn down, it had been painted yellow and was operating as a Chinese restaurant.

Snow White Grill – Winchester, Virginia

The Snow White Grill in Winchester was built c. 1948. Snow White Grill was another burger chain, along the lines of Little Tavern, White Tower, or White Castle. They were in the West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland Area. Interestingly, the Snow White Grills were designed by the same architect, Luther Reason Ray, of the Structural Porcelain Enamel company, who also designed the classic Little Taverns, as well as Hot Shoppes in the same area. This explains the obvious similarities in design and materials.



The Library of Congress has records regarding Snow White Grills from:

1941 – Snow White Grill for Hansel Hurst, Queen Street and Burke Street, Martinsburg, West Virginia
1948 – Snow White Grill for Hansel Hurst, 159 Loudoun Street, Winchester, Virginia – Luther R. Ray Architect
1948 – Snow White Grill – 9 Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland
1950 – Snow White Grill for Hansel Hurst, 239 N. Market Street, Frederick, Maryland
1952 – Snow White Grill for Hansel Hurst, South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, Maryland (Detail Shots)
1954-1955 – Snow White Grill Inc., Baltimore Street and Guilford Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
1955-1956 -Snow White Grill, Inc., West Baltimore Street and Howard Street, Baltimore, Maryland
1959 – remodel front of building for Snow White Grills, 1513 E. Joppa Road, Towson, Maryland
1960 -Snow White Grill, 1808 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland

It’s possible that there were more.