Plans of Mice, Men, and Goverment Agencies

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ModelCities.JPGI want to thank RayM for allowing me to use this image of a sign reflecting another time and another era. He put this up on the Shaw listserv. Say what you will about the listserv, and some of the listserv's more active posters, but Ray does actually bring information to the table (like the above photo), even if it is not packaged in a way that some more sensitive readers would like. 

With the work I've done with the National Capital Planning Commission files, I don't remember seeing this shape. But then again, I kind of ignored whatever was planned for NE DC in the 60s. I can definately make out the Shaw part of the Model Cities. As part of President Johnson's War on Poverty, the plan was big enough, but well other stuff happened (riots, Nixon, the 70s). According to the Shaw listserv chatter, initially the urban planners wanted to level the area as seen in map above, and make it "modern" (1970s idea of modern, ick). This would have given it an East Berlin look and feel. Thankfully, a lot of activism saved the area from being overwhelmed with a lot of large multi-family buildings with subsized rents.Those type of buildings do nothing for encouraging home ownership.

Anyway, I always find it interesting to look back at the people of the past (which one day we will be), and their grand sweeping plans and then find out why it flopped, failed, fizzled or fell a short.


Side note- Columbia Heights has been deemed a desirable neighborhood and is not, I repeat is not, an underserved neighborhood in need of any government funds, according to Senator Tom Coburn. (HT: Curbed)

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That's the craziest DC planning map I've ever seen!

U street? 14th Street? Noma? Logan Circle? Near Northeast? Trinidad? H Street?

So many neighborhoods would have been impacted by this "model."

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