Now I am sure I posted the publication by the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency (RLA) before, but just in case, I'll put it out there for y'all again. In the late 60s the RLA put out "A Program for Bates Street" (PDF), which is currently located in the archives of George Washington University.
My own curiosity with the Great Society and the flurry of social programs that came out of that period, is how well those goals were achieved. So let's take a look at the program.
The program had 3 main objectives:
1. Introduce a greater amount of housing types and sizes designed to relieve the overcrowding in exisitng housing.
2. Use housing programs for both rental and owned "that will be most responsive to the economic profile of the residents of the Area, given the current costrainst of those programs."
3. Provide needed amenities such as open space for active and passive recreation, off street parking and "separate pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems."
I have to hit #3 first. What the hell is a pedestrian and vehicular circulation system? Sidewalks and roads? If they are sidewalks and roads then they should say sidewalks and roads!
The second objective, I have no idea what exactly the goal was supposed to be there. It is too vague to me. Maybe the authors were dancing around something. So I'm going to give that objective a no.
Lastly on the brochure, since Sq. 551 was part of the mix, I'm going to guess the open space amenity is the Florida Avenue Park. I also notice that it is an open space and not a green space. Now this is the park of the past, the park where passive recreation included drunks being passed out on play equipment. I realy appreciate the work of John H. and the Friends of the Park to make the place a better amenity than what the planners of the 60s could do. The Bates Area does have off street parking, I did not realize this was a pressing issue back then.
Lastly on the whole thing, notice no bars. No bars on the windows. No bars on the doors. I have my theories, but I wonder if it is something that comes later when crime gets worse in the area.