Solutions to Architectural Exclusion

Exclusion by the first amendment: Freedom of speech

In the context of exclusionary techniques used by cities and towns, it may be beneficial for them to rethink their exclusionary infrastructure in order for a economical gain. In her “Architectural Exclusion”, Sarah Schindler describes ways to alleviate the harms of existing architectural exclusion and ways to prevent it in the future. Beginning with an incentive for city legislators and local governments, Schindler proposes a change in the design of a city in order to provide more jobs and promote the travel to a city or town. She continues with possible solutions which she then evaluates in the present reality to show how probable they actual are. Excluding judicial solutions due to ambiguity of legislation, Schindler then turns to the root of legislation: Federal, State, and local elected officials. Moreover, she turns to administrators who conduct a detailed environmental review to expand their review in order to consider the project’s impacts on the exclusion of certain underrepresented groups. In addition, Schindler pressures legislatures to construct an act similar to the Disabilities Act in which individuals with disabilities are accommodated in order to experience normal civic life.

Although few,  legislators have indeed taken into account the effect of architectural exclusion and prohibited its existence. On February 11, 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898: “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.” The order basically called attention to low-income environments and urged federal agents to attend to their effect on the minority community. It required federal agencies to adopt strategies which address environmental justice concerns within the context of the respective agency operations. Although non-binding and moderately effective,  the order showed the issue which Schindler presents was acted on by a president; consequently showing that the issue of architectural exclusion is not invisible.

Works Citied:

Arthur Totten, Bill Dickerson. NEPA Executive Order 12898. Accessed 1 May 2017.


Schindler, Sarah. Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.

Law as a factor in Architectural Exclusion

Village of Arlington Heights Homes

Throughout history, law has been used to exclude certain undesirable members of a community from certain parts of the community. In her article “Architectural Exclusion” Sarah Schindler has noted that courts and legislators have often seen architecture and design as ambivalent in the context of excluding individuals from certain areas of a built environment. She starts out with examples of racial zoning and racially restrictive covenants which the courts disapproved of to show that at least some form of exclusion was not tolerable. However, Schindler goes on to describe a method of exclusionary zoning, where municipalities have a minimum square footage and a minimum lot size to make homes unaffordable for poor people and minorities. For example, she extends her argument to the supreme court and quotes their opinion on such a matter explaining that the court required the plaintiff to have intentional discrimination in order to show strict scrutiny. Moreover, legal scholars have touched on this sort of exclusion and have found it hard to prove intentional discrimination, therefore proving the ambiguity that the courts present in the context of this matter.  

In many court cases throughout history, methods of exclusionary zoning have been tried but to no avail. In the court case “Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp,” the Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation sued for  declaratory relief. Moreover, it claimed that the denial of rezoning was discriminatory in nature and violated the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the Fair Housing Act of 1968. However, the Supreme Court held that the corporation failed to prove that discriminatory purpose as a factor in the zoning of the village and therefore remanded the case. Finally proving that lawmakers and housing authorities have found loopholes around the law in order to discriminate against certain individuals.


Works Citied:

Schindler, Sarah. Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment. Accessed 12 Feb. 2017.

Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp | Casebriefs – Part 2. Accessed 1 May 2017.

Practice of Architectural Exclusion


Jewish segragation in Europe

Authorities of municipalities have used a number of exclusionary techniques that have a purpose to keep certain people out of areas. In her “Architectural Exclusion”, Sarah Schindler touches on the specific technique of physical barriers, which several different groups of legal authority use to exclude people. Schindler begins with the fact that several law officials and authorities collaborate with architects and engineers to loop around the law to make it physically difficult for people to access certain locations. For example, architect Robert Moses was quoted on his idea to restrict buses 12 feet and higher from accessing certain bridges from Long Island to Jones beach. Moreover, Schindler explains that this way the architect used physical barriers to restrict people who use public transportation to access Jones beach. Furthermore, Schindler goes on to provide examples of transit stops, highway placements, and street designs to explain how these authorities barricade places from certain people. Ultimately, Schindler shows us how architects and law officials collaborate in order to create subtle barriers which separate people.

This kind of exclusion is not only present in modern times, but also in the history of built environments. According to Professor Monika Richarz, she writes in her article about jews living in Europe in the 19th century and being utterly segregated. She tells us that not only were the jews not allowed to trade and lend money, but also they were prohibited by leaving their community during certain times of the day. For example, she writes that in Tsarist Russia jews were sentenced to live in certain barricaded areas which were like present day ghettos. Looking closely at the issue of exclusion through architecture it becomes more and more evident in the context of undesired individuals.  
Works Citied:

Schindler, Sarah. Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.

Richarz, Monika. History of Jews in the 19th Century and Early 20th Century. Accessed 1 May 2017.

Architecture as a regulation

Manhattan, NY is separated from the 3 boroughs by water

Throughout history, people have constructed cities and social norms in such ways which discriminate against undesired groups and make it very hard for them to access the other side of town. In her article “Architectural Exclusion” Sarah Schindler exemplifies the apparently hidden, yet obvious, role that architectural and design play in the behavior of people in a space. At first, Schindler addresses the seemingly obvious role architecture plays by giving us an example where a park bench has armrests, which serve to keep homeless people from sleeping on public benches. However, she then describes that basic geographical and planning scholars do not express concern about architectural importance in the exclusion of groups in a space. Schindler then tells us how obvious the role of exclusion is in the circle of legal scholars. For example, she quotes legal scholar Lawrence Lessig when he writes about a situation where a highway divides two neighbourhoods. Although subtle and not easily noticed, the role architecture plays in exclusion is well known between many legal scholars and authorities.

An example of exclusion through architecture is the well-known island of Manhattan. In the city of New York, there are three boroughs which surround Manhattan. These three boroughs, Brooklyn,Queens,and Bronx have a high population of minorities which work at low-income/skill jobs and create a lot of crime. In order to separate these minorities from the scholars and skillful people, Manhattan was made to not be easily accessed. Having less than 10 bridges and tunnels connecting Manhattan and the other three boroughs, people in each borough would think twice about getting on a train or buying a car to travel to the island. Therefore, the deficit of connecting bridges or tunnels exclude people from the other three boroughs from entering the island of Manhattan.



Works citied:

Schindler, Sarah. Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.

“Manhattan.” Wikipedia, 30 Apr. 2017. Wikipedia,

Miracle on U Street and Bohemian Caverns

Nelson, Daryl. “Wale Goes Go-Go on ‘Miracle on U Street.’” The Boombox, 19 Dec. 2014,


In his article on the “BoomBox”, Daryl Nelson introduces DC native Wale and his song “Miracle on U Street”. Nelson tells his audience that in addition to his mixtape “Festivus” he released this song as a sort of Christmas present for his hometown. Furthermore, he explains where Wale’s song’s title comes from as he tells us that it is obvious play on the classic holiday film ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’ In addition to that explanation, Nelson provides some of the song’s lyrics in order to relate them to U Street. Finally, he ends with Wale’s next appearances and the names of the cities he will be in.

This article contains a production of a rapper who was brought up by the producers present in U Street. It gives my research an argument/exhibit source that exemplifies the connection between contemporary musicians and the musical U Street. It expands my research to the life of a famous rapper and his music. The article shows that his music contains the rhetoric which was created by a thankfulness and love for U Street. With this research I can show an example of U Street’s success as well as support my argument of its musically rich nature. Lastly, I can use the information present in this source and be sure it is reliable because it contains a contemporary document created by a DC native.   

Musician Quincy Phillips sets up his drums for one last live jazz performance
Stein, Perry. “A Legendary Jazz Club Is the Latest Icon to Close on U Street.” Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2016,
Perry Stein describes the end of an era, in his article on the “Washington Post”, as a legendary jazz club opens its doors for one last jazz performance. He explains that the prominent contemporary musician for the Bohemian Caverns, Quincy Phillips, prepares for a bittersweet last jazz performance of the venue. Moreover, Stein portrays the Bohemian Caverns as a centennial venue which has seen many changes to U Street. For example, he tells his audience how the venue withstood the riots in the 20th century and continued to produce live jazz performances for DC. In addition to that, he also takes the feelings of contemporary musicians, which played at the venue, and describes them to us as he quotes their nostalgic words. Finally, he ends with the heart broken remarks in which the owners of Bohemian Caverns describe that they cannot afford to renew the lease.
This article contains a venue which withstood all the eras of U Street but has suffered the consequences of cultural mixing and basically time. It gives my research an argument and describes the effect of multicultural populations in U Street. Likewise, it gives me an example of a centennial venue which could not accommodate the contemporary tastes of music. Therefore, I may also use it as an exhibit in order to help my audience understand my argument. Lastly, it is a credible source of information because it is about a real jazz club in U Street.

Peaches of Ben’s Chili Bowl and Native rapper Oddisee

Morgan, Richard, and Richard Morgan. “One Woman Has Stirred the Pot at Ben’s Chili Bowl for 40 Years. Her Name Is Peaches.” The Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2017.,

Bernadette “Peaches” Halton has seen it all from behind the counter at Ben’s Chili Bowl.

In his article in the Washington Post, Richard Morgan writes about a woman who is eternal to the operation at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Bernadette”Peaches” Halton has worked at Ben’s chili bowl every since her 17th birthday. Morgan goes on to tell the story about the friendship between Bernadette and the current owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, Virginia Ali. He describes a friendly first encounter with the two and then tells us how Ali quickly learned to love Bernadette. Ali even explains how Bernadette practically ran the business because of her general knowledge about the neighbourhood. He basically brings the mother-daughter relationship between the two to the audience.

This article is a very important source for my argument. U Street is a culturally significant neighbourhood and this article highlights that. A loving relationship between a black and an older white woman in the biggest cultural landmark in U Street. The article builds credibility as it goes on, taking quotes straight from the two, and taking us through a day in Ben’s Chili Bowl. It produces specific material from the specific neighbourhood I am researching and in a specific cultural landmark I am researching. I believe it has narrowed the discussion for my topic.

Kimble, Julian, and Julian Kimble. “Oddisee Returns to His U Street Corridor Origins, Playing the 9:30 Club for the First Time.” The Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2017.,
U Street rapper Oddisee

In Julian Kimble’s article on the Washington Post, a DC native rapper is highlighted as he returns to his hometown and returns to his favorite street. Oddisee is described as a big DC rapper coming from maryland. Kimble tells us that Oddisee started his career sneaking into Republic Gardens which is on U Street. He goes on to explain how Oddisee met his fellow rappers, yU and XO, in Capital City records which is right on U Street also. Finally he explains his success and multitude of albums he created, along with Oddisee’s current whereabouts.

Kimble’s article allows me to put another aspect of my research into better perspective. This article shows the effect of the emphasis U Street puts on music and give the audience an understanding of the success coming out of U Street. I can use this evidence and DC’s love for the artist as credibility of the claim that renowned artist’s come out of U Street. I would say that this article creates another dimension in which one can see the lasting effect of such a musically cultural neighbourhood.

U Street’s New Directions and Twins Jazz


U Street’s vicinity

Washington Post, Accessed 25 Apr. 2017.

In her article in the “Washington Post”, Harriet Edleson describes the U Street corridor as maintaining its roots while blossoming into other directions. To start of the article, Edleson gives us a brief description of what U Street was in its prime during the early half of the 20th century. Describing the prominent artists like Duke Ellington, Edleson tells us the story of how U Street boomed in Black culture and music back in the early 1900s. Suddenly, she switches to the contemporary neighbourhood and how it has changed from being unicultural to multicultural. Edleson describes that it is packed on Friday and Saturday nights with an array of different ages, cultures, and colors. She continues with different aspects of the neighbourhood such as real estate, landmarks that survived the change, crime rates, education, and transportation.

I would use this source as an argument  source because it uses the fundamental base to structure my argument. Even though this article about U Street is more centered on creating an imagine which inspires the residents of DC and other states to consider living on or near U Street, it contains valuable information about U Street. Since this article describes the mostly multicultural U Street, it contributes to my argument about the rich culture of U Street. It even narrows down to the roots of my argument which describe that the history of U Street contributes to its lively musical night scene. This is a very credible source because it uses quotes from residents and the reliable statistical sources to enhance its argument.


Kelly, left, and Maze Tesfaye came to the United States on a student visa in 1972.

West, Michael J., and Michael J. West. “These Sisters Never Imagined Their Restaurant Would Become a D.C. Jazz Institution.” The Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2017.,

In his article in the “Washington Post”, Michael J. West describes an almost centennial restaurant that has become yet another landmark in U Street. Started by two sisters, Kelly and Maze Tesfaye, Twins Jazz was opened in 1987. West goes on to explain that  it was first intended to be a normal restaurant offering seating and food, but it went on to become a jazz club. West tells us that through a stranger’s help, Twins Jazz turned into a prominent jazz club which local artists begged to play in. He also describes the hardships they faced when they were evicted due to noise complaints in 2007. He goes on to tell the readers that through unity and tradition, the reputation of Twins Jazz stayed the same as it opened up for a second time with the same waiters and cooks.

The article that I presented will be an exhibit to my main research argument. It is one of many examples of the eternalness of U Street. Many of the venues which built the network of U Street still stand today and this is one of them. What I genuinely like about this article is that it describes the attitudes of the people which contributed to U Street’s upbringing and maintained its history throughout the change of gentrification. It adds another dimension to my research as it describes the success of restaurants through the years on U Street. I believe I can use this article because it is very credible taking quotes and stories from the actual owners of the restaurant/jazz club.

U Street preparing for the Playoffs

Mural behind Ben’s Chili Bowl with Bradely Beal and John Wall

In hopes of  beating their last season playoff record, the Washington Wizards face off this week against their nemesis, the Atlanta Hawks. A mural portraying the Washington Wizard’s stars, Bradely Beal and John Wall, was created in U Street behind Ben’s Chilli Bowl. The artist of this mural is unknown but thorugh his art, we can get a general sense of who he is. First off, the artist is definitely a U Street native because he used the wall of U Street’s most famous eaterie. He is also very artistically skilled, which means he has definitely attended an arts institution, probably around DC. Finally, we can tell he is certainly a U Street native because of his skills and his knowelgde of U Street.

Cardozo educational complex

Cardozo Educational Complex

North of U Street stands a educational campus that may look like a college/higher-level institution but is acutally a highschool. Known as the castle on the hill, the Cardozo highschool serves as a reminder of the promise of a better future. It has a reputation of a academically sound school with many teachers being qualified as college professors. The majority of youth of U Street attends this highschool for hopes of a better future. Such an academic insitiution is essential to the future of U Street and its surrounding neighbourhoods.

International Academy. Accessed 17 Apr. 2017.

U Street’s neighboor




Shaw neighbourhood

Off to the southeast side of U Street lies a neighbourhood which is seemingly similar to it. Shaw is a neighbourhood which also has many black people living and also is historically black. Just like U Street, Shaw also has seen a rapid gentrification which was also due to sociocultural mixing. To make an even bigger connection, Shaw had its gentrification period at around the same time as U Street. They have both seen the exciting re emergence of their neighbourhood in the early part of the 21st century. A coincidence like this makes so much sense when you can realize that the residents of both neighbourhoods went through the same things and possibily helped each other out.

Gringlas, Sam. “Old Confronts New In A Gentrifying D.C. Neighborhood.”, Accessed 17 Apr. 2017.