In the 1960s, “urban renewal” was the hope of the future for revitalizing ailing cities or districts within cities. The unfortunate side effect of many of these projects was to destroy the character of neighborhoods and displace their residents. In Washington D.C., the epicenter for this phenomenon was a large swath of the Southwest. While the project did away with what remained of the 19th century architecture in the area, it was replaced with high-quality projects from architects like Chloethiel Woodard Smith, who used the vocabulary of modernism to design enduring residential communities. These designs exemplify why planners placed great hope in redevelopment, and as the buildings come of age, it’s the perfect time to explore the area with Washington Walks. Along the way, you can reflect on what might be worth preserving and gain inspiration from the successful restorations of Arena Stage and the former Marina View Towers. Your guide will also identify what has already been lost and delve into the implications of urban renewal as the city moves into the future.
399 M Street Southwest
Washington, DC 20024