Tuesday, July 10, 2012

part of Bloomingdale considered obsolete in 1950

Did you see the Greater Greater Washington post titled "Was your neighborhood obsolete in 1950?"  The post is based upon the content of "Washington: Present and Future - A General Summary of the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital and Its Environs" dated April 1950.

If you look at the map, you can see that a part of Bloomingdale was considered obsolete.

Specifically, the map indicates with diagonal lines that the unit blocks of Florida Ave NW up to U St NW were categorized as obselete.

You can see on the last page of the document a map of the area bounded by 7th St NW, New York Avenue NW, New Jersey Avenue NW and Florida Avenue NW.  Look at the map on the right and see the proposal for this area.  Proposed inner loop express highway -- 395 -- leading up to Florida Avenue NW along New Jersey Avenue NW.  Plus, bulldozing all of the existing buildings and building what appear to be public apartment buildings.

Here is a color version of the GGW map: http://www.houseguydc.com/images/50sDC.jpg.

What do you think?


  1. Thanks, Scott! I had seen this on the Shaw list and just looked at the Shaw area. The color map is a little hard to read, but now that I have - wow! Someone wanted to tear down the prettiest houses in Mt. Vernon and Bloomingdale!

  2. Currently and at some point in their past they were pretty, but in 1949-1950 they or most of the surrounding housing was pretty ramshackley. Since the turn of the century with the movement to get rid of alley dwellings to slum clearance, neighborhood's like Shaw have been in planners' sights.
    Present day people, don't see it as the people (planners, do-gooders) of the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and early 60s saw it as, colored dens of crime, disease and no indoor plumbing (poop shacks in the back!). They figured that the built environment was the problem. I've read plenty transcripts from the National Cap. Planning Commission, and they felt they were doing the right thing to make the city modern and 'better'.