The image above depicts the website, Greater Greater Washington, and a animated show of D.C.’s Metro evolution in the last 38 years. The image above represents the D.C. metro system after adding the green line, which provides a visual representation of incorporating neighborhoods like the Shaw. After May 11, 1991: First Green Line stations open—U StreetCardozo, Shaw-Howard Univ and Mt Vernon Sq-UDC— in 1.66 mile segment north of Gallery Pl-Chinatown. The metro-station was put into place in 1991 and ever since has served working class commuters. The Shaw’s metro-station unique in to neighboring metro stops, the Shaw’s metro stop demonstrated very little up keep. The metro-station was put into place in 1991 and ever since has served working class commuters. In comparison to neighboring stops Shaw has only one exit and entrance. In addition the corridor is covered in tarps, thinly compressed wooden walls, and an escalator that serves as a two way.
The image above depicts the website, Greater Greater Washington, and a animated show of D.C.’s Metro evolution in the last 38 years. The image above represents the D.C. metro system before adding the green line, which places a visual representation of isolating neighborhoods like Shaw. Before 1991 Shaw residents who relied on public transportation relied heavily on the bus system.
The image above depicts Ronald Reagan presenting his first state of the union in 1986, but I use this image as a representation of his administration and how it played a vital role in Washington D.C.’s metro system. In 1985, the Reagan administration endorsed a long-debated plan to expand the Metro subway system to 89.5 miles, including a Green Line branch to Greenbelt in Prince George’s County and a Yellow Line spur to a Van Dorn Street station in Alexandria’s West End. The Reagan administration initially opposed further federal appropriations for Metro construction beyond 89.5 miles, and at the time Metro officials did not devise a plan to obtain funds to complete the proposed 102.7-mile system. Thus, there was a lack of federal funding to support the Green Line’s construction, which led to set-backs and ultimately a delay in the Green Line’s construction by an entire year. Eventually the administration fully funded the Green Line’s entire construction, but this event was an example of Washington D.C.’s neighborhoods are contingent upon congress to provide federal funding. The metro system can be seen as veins that pump within Washington D.C., because just like the vital role veins play in the human anatomy so does its metro system. For example, the establishment of the green line allowed for working class commuters to easily access other neighborhoods including downtown.
The image above illustrates Nadine Winters, Washington D.C.’s ward 6 council woman, who served for sixteen year from (1975-1991). Ward 6 includes multiple neighborhoods including Shaw. She was council woman during the green line’s planning and its opening on March 11, 1991. She was a notable figure who faced the challenges in addressing the area’s post-civil rights movement, and its drug problem. In fact, she was a key figure in stabilizing the neighborhood as the director of the Hospitality House Inc., one of the first shelters to house entire families, where she provided a plan for low-income individuals to purchase vacant government-owned properties, at prices as low as $1, to people who agreed to fix them up and stay for at least five years. In Shaw the last 40 years the housing dynamic has drastically shifted from investing in public housing and low-income affordable homes to million dollar townhouses.
The image above illustrates the Lincoln Theater Exterior view, shows marquee advertising movie “Personal Property”, with Jean Harlow and Robert Taylor. This image was taken the DC Race Riots during the mid-1960s. The theater closed after the 1968 race-related riots. It was restored and reopened in 1994, and hosts a variety of performances and events. The theater, located on “Washington’s Black Broadway”, once served as the city’s African American community when segregation kept them out of other venues. The Lincoln Theater included a movie house and ballroom, and hosted jazz and big band performers like Duke Ellington.
In comparison to the image above, the image below illustrates the current state of the Lincoln theater. Quite frankly, the difference is very minimal, in fact one can argue the only difference from an exterior perspective is the color in the second image. However, another difference is the U Street Metro station, which opened in 1991, and is located right across the street from Lincoln Theater. In regards to Lincoln’s Theater interior wise, the theater has gone under renovation and preservation since 1994. Today the theater hosts great performances and performers like it once did during Duke Ellington’s time.
The image above illustrates the demolition site of the 1975 Watha T. Daniel Library. The two story building contained adult reading room, a lounge area, and a listening booth on the first floor while the second floor provided space for a children’s room complete with a specially designed enclosure for story hour. Originally local tax payers were informed of a two year project, which turned into a six year project from 2004 to 2010. The Shaw had received enough public funds to invest nearly $12 million. In the span of 6 years students who depended on the library were deprived of internet and educational access. The delay of reconstruction inspired residents to protest against the 2 year hiatus in 2006, but efforts did not seem enough to government officials who did not have the project finalized until 2010.
The image above is a side view of Watha T. Daniel Library, or also known as Shaw’s library. The library is a three story building filled with library 40,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other library materials with capacity for 80,000 items. Computer access includes 32 public access computers, free Wi-Fi Internet access, and 8 Mac computers in the teen space. Among its community offerings are yoga and Bollywood dance classes. The library has served as a public community center, and it is the very first thing that catches the eye once an individuals gets off the Shaw’s metro stop.
The image above illustrates Shaw’s metro-station’s one and only exit and entrance. The corridor is covered in tarps, thinly compressed wooden walls, and an escalator that serves as a two way. Compared to neighboring metro stops, the Shaw’s metro stop demonstrated very little up keep. The metro-station was put into place in 1991 and ever since has served working class commuters.
In this photo an abandoned building is the center focus, it is located on O Street, and stood out among neighboring newly renovated homes. The chipped paint on the entrance and loose bricks on the corner home is an example of what this block looked like less than two decades ago. Aesthetically I took the photo incorporating the “DO NO ENTER” as a symbolic message representing the austere sentiments natives have of new-comers in their community.
II. Gentrification in the Shaw:
he image above demonstrates a symbolic relationship between the old and new Shaw. The three stories building on both ends of the street encapsulate the power struggle DC currently is undergoing. For instance on the right side of the corner, “Tiki Seafood”, has a dilapidated outside appearance with wood boards as windows, compared to the newly fresh mural paint across the street with an 15 minute wait line to be served. The different side of the street is a clear representation of a divided Shaw.
III. Gentrification in the Shaw: Renovating the Old and Welcoming the New
In this photo, the old and new could have not been clearer than a side by side comparison of a freshly painted home and an abandoned home undergoing renovation. On a block where less two years ago foreclosure signs sat firmly on the lawns of O street is now covered with newly gated fencing and new lawn decor. This photo encapsulates the gentrification the Shaw is undergoing, and it is not being done by natives but young white professionals.
IV. Gentrification in the Shaw: New and Old Demographics
This video was taken during my visit to the Shaw, and the reason I filmed immediately was because I saw the immediate difference between native locals and new incoming locals, and I believe the video harnesses the way natives and newcomers are austere to another. On one side of the street there is new development, while on the other side of the street there is an empty lot with small local shops that have not been altered since the 1990s.
IV. Gentrification in the Shaw: Compialation
This video is a compilation of multiple videos and photos taken throughout my visitation of the Shaw. The video is accompanied with a soundtrack from the well known rapper, Wales, who is a DC native and within his song, DC or Nothing, he describes the reality of DC natives and the change it is undergoing. This video is special in that it accompanies a particular powerful shot that takes place during minute, 00:47- 00:59.