Jazz in the city

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Every major metropolitan area goes through periods of gentrification where a once undesirable area transforms and reinvents itself. One example in Washington,DC is the H Street Corridor South East of the US Capital. Currently there are many changes(including renaming it the Atlas District) that is first noticed by the improvement of the sidewalks and the main thoroughfare. Additionally a trolley car line is being built to serve transportation needs and provide ambience.

Of course repairing the streets and sidewalks is a good thing, but my question is, did they not need repairing before the neighborhood started to change ?

A little history about H Street includes the fact that it was one of Washington's earliest & busiest commercial districts including the location for the first Sears Roebuck store. The area started to decline after WW2 and was severely damaged during the 1968 riots. Back in 2002 concrete plans were made to revitalize the area but is has been slow in coming. 

There are several neighborhoods in DC  I cold have chosen to write about but H Street/ Atlas District is still up and coming and frankly who is to say it will ever come all the way back. Interspersed amongst the new live music venues, tea & coffee lounges are wig shops, nail salons, liquor stores and check cashing joints.

Progress is being made for sure, and hopefully the new Atlas District can retain some of it's current charm (and residents) and become a great example of urban renewal not urban recycle.

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