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Southwest a possibility for DCA

Photo courtesy of
‘Clouds and Landing’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

The AP is reporting that Southwest has put in a non-binding bid on struggling airline Frontier Air, which could bring Southwest to Reagan National Airport if a sale eventually went though. Don’t feel free to move about the country just yet, however. The bid’s non-binding so that Southwest can get a chance to get more information from Frontier and there’s already another bid on the table.  Even if they eventually acquire the struggling airline there’s no certainty they’d keep all the routes or locations.

One can hope, however, and Southwest would be my personal second choice for an addition to DCA. JetBlue would be my first.

Life in the Capital, Special Events, The District, The Features, Where We Live, WMATA

Where We Live: Southwest Waterfront

Photo courtesy of
‘The Forgotten City’
courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’
Hello and welcome to another edition of Where We Live.  This week we’ll be checking out the smallest quadrant in the District, Southwest.  Can you imagine city planners essentially wiping out an entire neighborhood and starting from scratch?  Well, that’s what planners did to this area back in the 1950s.  Read on to hear how it happened, and what’s going on today in one of the most overlooked neighborhoods in the city.

History: The southwest quadrant was present in Pierre L’Enfant’s original plan for the city in 1791.  In 1793, the city’s first rowhouses were built at Wheat Row, and in 1796 the Thomas Law House was built for one of DC’s first investors (both structures remain to this day).  In 1815, the Washington City Canal was built and essentially cut off this part of the city from the rest of the District.  The area became home to many poorer residents and tenements, but the neighborhood was thriving with churches, synagogues, and shops.  Anthony Bowen made this area a stop on the Underground Railroad.

But by the 1950’s, planners working with Congress decided that the Southwest Waterfront area was the place to try out all these novel urban renewal concepts, so they declare eminent domain over virtually all of SW, wipe out nearly all of the houses and shops and churches in the area, and cause the displacement of nearly 30,000 people.  Planners then build a series of modernist residential and office buildings, cut through the area with freeways, and destroy nearly all urban character that was there to begin with.  The neighborhood businesses were replaced by various new buildings and the Waterside Mall (which was recently demolished), which included a Safeway and satellite EPA offices.  These businesses didn’t exactly create a vibrant urban neighborhood, so they’ve been torn down to create a clean slate for massive new redevelopment.

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