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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Wikipedia Description: Southwest Waterfront
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Southwest Waterfront is a residential neighborhood in Southwest Washington, D.C.. By virtue of Southwest's being the smallest of Washington's four quadrants, Southwest Waterfront is in fact one of only two residential neighborhoods in the quadrant (the other being Bellevue, which, being east of the Anacostia River, is frequently, if mistakenly, regarded as being in Southeast). For that reason many residents of Southwest Waterfront will simply refer to themselves as living in "Southwest."
Southwest Waterfront is bounded by Interstate 395 to the north and northwest, the Potomac River to the south and southwest, and South Capitol Street to the east. Politically, Southwest Waterfront lies in Ward 6.
Southwest Waterfront is part of Pierre L'Enfant's original city plans and includes some of the oldest buildings in the city, including the Wheat Row block of townhouses, built in 1793, and Fort McNair, which was established in 1791 as "the U.S. Arsenal at Greenleaf Point."
After the Civil War, the Southwest Waterfront became a neighborhood for the poorer classes of Washingtonians. The neighborhood was divided in half by Fourth Street SW, then known as 4 1/2 Street; Scottish, Irish, German, and eastern European immigrants lived west of 4 1/2 Street, while freed blacks lived to the east. Each half was centered around religious establishments: St. Dominic's Catholic Church and Temple Beth Israel on the west, and Friendship Baptist Church on the east. (Also, each half of the neighborhood was the birthplace of a future American musical star — Al Jolson was born on 4 1/2 Street, and Marvin Gaye was born in a tenement on First Street.)
The Waterfront developed into a quite contradictory area: it had a thriving commercial district with grocery stores, shops, a movie theater, as well as a few large and elaborate houses (mostly owned by wealthy blacks). However, most of the neighborhood was a very poor shantytown of tenements, shacks, and even tents. These places, some of them in the shadow of the Capitol Building, were frequent subjects of photographs that were published with captions like, "The Washington that tourists never see."
In 1972, the Women's Titanic Memorial was moved to the Washington Channel, near Fort McNair in Southwest Waterfront.
In the 1950s, city planners working with the U.S. Congress decided that the entire Southwest quadrant should undergo a significant urban renewal — in this case, meaning that the city would declare eminent domain over all land south of the mall (except Bolling Air Force Base and Fort McNair); evict virtually all of its residents and businesses; destroy all streets, buildings, and landscapes; and start again from scratch. Only a few buildings were left intact, notably the Maine Avenue fish market, the Wheat Row townhouses, the Thomas Law House, and the St. Dominic's and Friendship churches. The Southeast/Southwest Freeway section of Interstate 395 was constructed where F Street, SW, had once been, separating the quadrant's business district from the residential Waterfront neighborhood.
The heart of the urban renewal of the Southwest Waterfront was Waterside Mall, a small shopping center/office complex mostly occupied by a Safeway grocery store and satellite offices for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The Arena Stage was built a block west of the Mall, and a number of hotels and restaurants were built on the riverfront to attract tourists. Southeastern University, a very small college that had been chartered in 1937, also established itself as an important institution in the area.
The residential aspect of the project began with a large apartment complex and park called Potomac Place, located on 4th Street between G and I Streets. When Nikita Khrushchev visited Washington in 1959, he pointed out to President Dwight D. Eisenhower the extremely poor dwellings that stood on the way from Bolling Air Force Base (where Khrushchev had arrived in the city) to the downtown area; Eisenhower, in response, ordered their driver to pass by Potomac Place in order to show the Soviet Premier that the nation's capital was working to assist its poorer citizens.
The Washington Metro built the Waterfront-SEU Metro Station on its Green Line and opened it in 1991.
Starting around 2003, the Southwest Waterfront began gentrifying. H20, an enormously popular nightclub, opened on the riverfront, while a number of the decrepit and unattractive apartment buildings began extensive renovations and condominium conversions. Residential and commercial developers began to take a more serious interest in Southwest with the announcement in 2004 that the city would build the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium just across South Capitol Street from Southwest. The Southwest Waterfront has now been earmarked as the site of the next wave of cityside gentrification.
Current residents include former Police Chief Charles Ramsey and Supreme Court Associate Justice David Souter. Hubert Humphrey lived there while serving as U.S. Vice President.
Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
SW_051016_01.JPG: This is the U.S. International Trade Commission building. My first government job was with the USITC, back when it was located near the National Portrait Gallery. The building became the Hotel Monaco.
SW_051016_16.JPG: The Law House in Peace and War
Bigger photos? To save space on the server and because the modern camera images are so large, photos larger than 640x480 have not been loaded on this page. If you need the bigger sizes of selected photos, email me and I can email them back to you or I can re-load this page temporarily with the bigger versions restored.
2005 photos: Equipment this year: I used four cameras -- two Fujifilm S7000 cameras (which were plagued by dust inside the lens), a new Fujifilm S5200 (nice but not great and I hated the proprietary xD memory chips), and a Canon PowerShot S1 IS (returned because it felt flimsy to me). I gave my Epson camera to my catsitter. Both of the S7000s were in for repairs over Christmas.
Trips this year: Florida (for Lotusphere), a driving trip down south (seeing sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia), Williamsburg, and Chicago.
Number of photos taken this year: 147,000.