Built Environment Introduction: The Evolution of U Street Entertainment
U Street has been an entertainment hub of Washington D.C. for almost one hundred years, evolving from a mostly black community to a diverse scene for D.C.’s nightlife. While much of the area has been taken over by new apartments and stores, a few relics of the past still stand tall on the street. The Lincoln Theatre and the updated 9:30 Club give visitors a chance to stand in the same rooms as some of the greats and gain insight into D.C’s music history. Yet, the way people have experienced those venues have drastically changed over time, from the grand outings of the 1920s to the basement shows of the 1980s to the multifaceted events of today. As the neighborhoods of U Street modernism so do the mindsets of the people living within it. Attending a concert or show in a historical venue has become less of a whole experience and more of a simple outing; people want to capture the moment instead of being in a fully immersive environment. So, the question is, can these historical venues be brought back into the art? Will artists take advantage of these spaces and use them as assets? Or will U Street fall into the pit of crowd pleasing concerts?