Southwest Washington, D.C., is a defined neighborhood even without a proper name; the quadrant has a clear border southwest of the U.S. Capitol Building, nestled along the oldest waterfront in the city. Its physical delineations have defined it as a community for more than 250 years, beginning in the mid-1700s with emerging farms. By the mid-1800s, a thriving urban, residential, and commercial neighborhood was supported by the waterfront where Washingtonians bought seafood and produce right off the boats. In the 1920s and 1930s, an aging housing stock and an overcrowded city led to an increase of African Americans and Jewish immigrants who became self-sufficient within their own communities. However, political pressures and radical urban planning concepts in the 1950s led to the large-scale razing of most of SW, creating a new community with what was then innovative apartment and cooperative living constructed with such unusual building materials as aluminum.
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The Military Community
The Federal Government
Urban Renewal and Rebuilding Southwest
Air Force Base alley American Buildings Survey Anacostia architect architectural firm Army Author's Collection boat Bolling Air Force Bureau of Printing Capitol Park Charles Weller Civil construction DCHCD Delaware Avenue designed Fort McNair Four-and-a-Half Street Fourteenth Street Bridge Fourth Street Gordon Parks Hains Point Harbor Square complex Historic American Buildings I. M. Pei Independence Avenue James Creek Canal later Law House lºº Maryland McNair National Mall National War College º º º once located oyster Penitentiary Photograph courtesy DDOT Pierre L'Enfant Potomac Park Printing and Engraving railroad razed redevelopment River seen served Seventh Street shows Sixth Street ſºlº Southwest community Southwest neighborhood Southwest residents Southwest Washington Streets was built Tiber Island Tidal Basin Beach tº º townhouses trees U.S. Office urban renewal Virginia Washington Arsenal Washington Sanitary Housing waterfront Wheat Row