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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by Bruce Guthrie 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. If asked for permission in advance, I'll usually waive the non-commercial clause unless it's for people trying to sell the photos. A free copy of any printed publication using the photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from official signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Description of Subject Matter: Part of the Southwest Heritage Trail, the SW area includes these sites:
Banneker Circle: Vista to the Past:
This high ground serves as a monument to Benjamin Banneker, the free African American who charted the stars for the first survey of Washington, D.C. Banneker was 60 years old when he hired on to assist surveyor Andrew Ellicott. A tobacco planter from Baltimore County, Maryland, Banneker had taught himself mathematics and astronomy. With these skills, he observed the stars' movements each night. Ellicott used Banneker's calculations to determine the District's boundaries. In addition, Banneker published a series of almanacs predicting the movements of the sun, moon, and stars to guide farmers in the best timing for planting and harvesting.
This vista once belonged to Notley Young. The Maryland planter owned nearly all of today's Southwest when President George Washington chose the spot, then part of Maryland, for the new nation's capital in 1791. Young's brick mansion stood close to where you are now. Young owned many farms in the new city and nearby Maryland, and reported owning 265 slaves to 1790 Census takers. Before the Revolution, Maryland's Catholics were prohibited from worshipping in public churches so Young and his Catholic neighbors gathered for Mass in his house. In 1857, Young's grandson, Father Nicholas Young, Jr., helped establish St. Dominic Church.
The L'Enfant Promenade, designed by I.M. Pei and others for New York developer William Zeckendorf, now covers the site of Young's house. Zeckendorf envisioned a dramatic expanse lined with office and cultural buildings as a link between the National Mall and Southwest's waterfront. Today's Forrestal Building blocks what was to be a view to the Smithsonian Castle.
The Law House in Peace and War:
The Thomas Law House is now a community center for Tiber Island cooperative. The Federal style house was designed by William Lovering in 1794 for businessman Thomas Law and his bride Eliz ...More...
Various Signs: River Farms to Urban Towers
Southwest Heritage Trail
Jane Freundel Levey
Lead Historian and Writer
Richard T. Busch and J. Brendan Meyer
Lisa Bentley and Anne W. Rollins
A project of Cultural Tourism DC, Kathryn S. Smith, Executive Director, in collaboration with Southwest Neighborhood Assembly History Task Force, Margaret Feldman, Chair.
Funding provided by Washington, DC Department of Housing and Community Development, District Department of Transportation, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and U.S. Department of Transportation.
Visitors to Washington, DC flock to the National Mall, where grand monuments symbolize the nation's highest ideals. This self-guided walking tour is one of a series that invites you to discover what is beyond the monuments: Washington's historic neighborhoods.
Until the 1950s, the neighborhood known as Southwest was Washington's largest working-class, waterfront neighborhood. Then nearly all of Southwest was razed to create an entirely new city in the nation's first experiment in urban renewal. Experience both the old and the new Southwest in the company of the first colonial settlers; migrants and immigrants; fishmongers, domestic workers, laborers, government clerks and congressmen: all passengers on the journey from river farms to urban towers.
This trail takes you through one of Washington, DC’s oldest—and newest—neighborhoods. For 150 years, Southwest Washington was a working waterfront community. Then urban renewal changed the landscape forever. Today Southwest is a virtual library of Modernist architecture of the 1960s with a few historic structures, some of which go all the way back to the section’s beginnings.
In 1791, nearly all of today’s Southwest was owned by Notley Young, a Maryland planter whose slaves cultivated his numerous farms. That year the federal government included this area in its plan for the new seat of ...More...
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 p ...More...
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2013 photos: So far, my camera is mostly the Fuji X-S1 but, depending on the event, I'm also using a Nikon D7000 and Nikon D600.
Trips this year have been limited to a Civil War Trust conference in Memphis.