Before there was the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area there was NW

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

This should be at the DC Archives over on Naylor Court, NW because this comes from the DC RLA. And the ‘this’ is a church survey for a previous urban renewal idea of doing a nice big chunk in NW. The best I can tell of what happened with the NW Urban Renewal Area is that it shrank to the NoMa area, and at some point the Shaw School Urban Renewal came to be. Seriously, I’m fuzzy when it comes to all the various urban renewal programs that RLA, with the federal government (NCPC), churned out. There were several, a downtown, possibly a NE, Adams-Morgan, the famous SW, this NW one and Shaw.
Anyway, the little numbered circles in the shown map here of the NW urban renewal area are of the various steeple and storefront churches in 1957. I’m not going to list them all as there are several pages and I don’t want to. But there are a few churches I want to highlight.
#3 Greater New Bethel; #4 Metropolitan; #10 Redeemer Italian Baptist; #13- Shiloh Baptist and #14 Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Storefront Church:
#17 Mt. Sinai Baptist
The survey is basic, with name and address of pastor, ethnic make up, staff, and a few things about the membership I found interesting.
Greater New Bethel, then at 1739 9th St, had a membership of 700, with an average attendance of 350, parking for 25 cars, and 80% of the working members held white collar jobs. None of the members lived in the NW urban renewal area but all lived in DC.
Metropolitan Baptist at 1225 R St had a membership of 3,260, average attendance at the worship service was 1500. Of the working membership 25% were white collar, 30% unskilled manual, 15% skilled and 10% in business. Geographically 40% lived in the urban renewal area, 57% in the rest of DC and 3% in VA. In 1957 it had no mortgage.
Redeemer Italian Baptist, or ‘ok I guess there was a strong eye-talian presence here’. It was at 1200 Kirby St and composed of white Italians. None of them lived in the urban renewal area, 40% were in the rest of DC and 60 % in MD & VA. The membership 125 with 60 showing up for worship services. A majority, 55% were skilled manual laborers, 30% white collar, and 10% in business.
Okay, I’m tired of typing, I’ll pick this up again later.

3 thoughts on “Before there was the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area there was NW”

  1. My grandfather and great grandfather were Pastors at the Redeemer Italian Baptist Church and I grew up in it.


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