We are always keeping an eye on the interesting building developments around the country, and especially in our own backyard. The architectural history of Washington, D.C. is well-documented: From buildings that are the cornerstone of our country – like the White House and Capitol building – to the secluded roots of the Jazz Age – like Bohemian Caverns and the Lincoln Theater – and even several regrettable designs from the Seventies, each building and neighborhood marks a different generation. In 2016, the city seems poised for the next generation of developments to enter the landscape.
On the hills of Fort Lincoln – D.C.’s Northeastern-most neighborhood – there have already been a number of townhouses constructed, but national retailers like PetSmart, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Costco and Lowe’s are quickly joining in the flourish. Pressed against Eastern Avenue, the border of D.C. and Maryland, and major highways in and out of the city, Dakota Crossing should prove to be a destination for District and Maryland residents alike. The influx of bigger national retailers and housing developments likely makes the neighborhood more appealing for the smaller regional shops and restaurants for which D.C. is so well known.
Tucked against the banks of the Potomac River, The Wharf in Southwest D.C. is one of the many neighborhood revitalization projects currently active in the city. Although The Wharf will tout its own appeals of dining and scenery, it also promises to be a catch-all for many of the other District must-sees. The Wharf will be conveniently situated equidistant between the Tidal Basin and monuments, as well as museums along the National Mall, the Capitol building and the prospective D.C. United soccer stadium. The Wharf promises to be a summer staple, especially as new businesses and hotels move to the neighborhood.
In February, The Washingtonian published a proposal to remove the elevated portion of the I-395 Southeast Expressway – which splits the neighborhood south of the Capitol building and the Potomac River waterfront. The plan proposes replacing I-395 car traffic with an extended boulevard. The plan would also reduce car traffic by introducing an expanded streetcar system, bike paths and – most importantly – housing. At a glance, such a proposal is daunting, but the beauty of the sightlines created without the eyesore of the elevated highway is appealing. Though some have shied away from more streetcars, other cities’ past experiences speak to this proposal. Boston, for example, had a similar highway system – the Central Artery – that was moved underground during the Big Dig to make room for the Rose Kennedy Greenway. That greenway now ranks among the top attractions in the city. Adding another stretch of greenery to D.C.’s blend of neighborhoods and waterfront could prove equally attractive.