The Revitalization of Southwest D.C.
- Early 2000s Revitalization
- Southwest D.C. Attractions
- Long-Standing Landmarks
- A Popular Tourist Area
- Visit Station 4 for New American Cuisine
The southwest waterfront neighborhood of D.C. has a rich and varied history, stemming back thousands of years. It was once a popular area for several Algonquian-speaking Native American groups, including the Nacotchtank. It has been a sought-after area ever since, home to shipping merchants, immigrants, freed slaves and notable public figures working in the nation's capital. With its favorable location where the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers meet, it offers fertile soil and maritime trading opportunities, as well as picturesque views.
In the last few years, Southwest D.C. has become an even more desirable place to live thanks to a large-scale revitalization project. Today, Southwest D.C. is a popular spot to visit or settle down, with much to offer its residents. The intriguing history of S.W. D.C. pairs with its fresh, new development. Read on to learn more about the area's recent history and modern attractions.
Early 2000s Revitalization
The Southwest D.C. neighborhood has been a popular place to live for many centuries. It has been home to many notable residents, including Thurgood Marshall and entertainers Marvin Gaye and Al Jolson. In recent years, the District of Columbia state government supported an urban renewal project to create new housing, workplaces, outdoor spaces and attractions. The area, which has always been a favorable place to live, is now updated to modern standards.
Undoing the Urban Renewal Legacy
One of the key goals of the 2000s revitalization project was to undo some of the negative effects of the area's earlier gentrification. In the 1950s, so-called urban renewal projects led to displaced D.C. citizens, especially African American citizens. It had long-term impacts on the area's diversity and sense of community. The recent revitalization has helped to mitigate some of these issues, promoting a healthier, stronger community, attracting both residents and tourists.
New Places to Live
The revitalization project included the renovation of many apartment buildings and condominiums. You'll also find new high-rise living spaces along the waterfront, taking full advantage of the beautiful, natural views. Today, there are plenty of new renting and buying opportunities for both single residents and families. With the other new developments of the revitalization project, the area has increased in popularity for tourists and residents alike.
Along with new places to stay, you'll find plenty of new development in Southwest D.C. Among the new buildings are office spaces, hotels, retail stores and other neighborhood necessities. Many of these new buildings are high-rises, utilizing vertical space.
New Outdoor Spaces
The area, with its waterfront marina and fertile soil, has always been a great place to enjoy the outdoors. Today, there are more opportunities than ever to do so. The last decade or so has included the addition of waterfront parks, piers, promenades and docks. You can enjoy all of the benefits of the sought-after waterfront location, whether you prefer fishing, boating or watching the sunset over the river.
In addition, the National Capital Planning Commission and the National Parks Service have created new staircases and bicycle paths, as well as new lighting and trees for safer, more scenic street-sides. Residents and tourists can bike or walk to their destinations.
Southwest D.C. Attractions
Tourists have plenty of new attractions to explore throughout the southwest waterfront area. You can enjoy sports events, shopping, overnight visits and dining with the area's new stadium, stores, hotels and restaurants.
Washington Nationals Stadium
One of the most significant additions to the area is the Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium in Nationals Park, which opened in 2008. Of course, it's a popular destination for sports fans, bringing in business for the local hotels, eateries and other establishments. It's also a great venue for private events, including festivals, corporate retreats and holiday parties.
The stadium and its home team also work to support the local community. The team has partnered with local libraries to promote a summer reading program, for instance. They also help create advertising opportunities for corporate partners.
The second-largest theater complex in D.C., the Arena Stage is a performing center, hosting actors, musicians, painters, dancers and other artisans. Many events take place in the Arena Stage, including exhibitions, recitals, group classes, art crawls and other activities. It offers a place for the surrounding community to come together and explore arts and culture. Attending an event at the Arena Stage is a great way to support local artisans.
New stores have popped up along the waterfront, perfect for window shopping or finding a specific item. If you take a walk through the Southwest D.C. area, you'll find many shopping opportunities, including:
- Clothing stores.
- Salons and spas.
- Wine and spirit retailers.
- Home decor stores.
- Book stores.
- Beauty product stores.
Extensive Dining Options
Along with the recent urban renewal has come new dining options. Tourists and locals enjoy a wide variety of unique dining options throughout Southwest D.C. One of the most popular and first spots in the new development is the Station 4 restaurant, offering a modern, swanky twist on American dining.
Along with all of the area's new attractions, you'll find several long-standing relics, which serve as a reminder of the history of Southwest D.C. Tourists might visit these spots for some historical perspective on the town. Some remaining local landmarks include:
- Maine Avenue Fish Market: The oldest continually operating open-air fish market in the United States, the Maine Avenue Fish Market is a must-visit location.
- The Friendship Church: The Friendship Baptist Church is one of the nation's oldest African American congregations. It's one of the longest-standing landmarks in the area.
- The St. Dominic Church: The St. Dominic Church, a Catholic congregation, is over two hundred years old. It was rebuilt after an 1885 fire.
- The Thomas Law House: Thomas Law was a British resident of both India and the newly colonized America. He invested in a great deal of property and lived in this house with three of his sons.
- Wheat Row: Wheat Row is a row of four houses from the late 18th century. They are among the oldest standing residencies in the state. The homes exemplify Late Georgian-style townhomes.
A Popular Tourist Area
Today, the rich history of Southwest D.C. complements its modern attractions, making it a popular place to visit or call home. It offers beautiful waterfront views, easy walkability, a relief from crowds and plenty of fun spots to explore:
- Waterfront views and activities: One of the main draws of the Southwest D.C. area is its ideal waterfront location. The area sits where the Potomac meets the Anacostia, providing shipping, fishing and trading opportunities. If you enjoy maritime activities or scenic sunsets over the water, you'll appreciate the Southwest D.C. waterfront.
- Easy traveling and smaller crowds: Another feature of the Southwest D.C. area is its ease of travel. You can walk to your destinations or take advantage of public transit options. The area offers a reprieve from the crowds of D.C.'s biggest tourist attractions, including the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial and the Smithsonian Museums. This makes it an exceptional spot for visitors and residents alike.
Visit Station 4 for New American Cuisine
Southwest D.C. is historic ground, with an inhabited past ranging over thousands of years. In the past few centuries, it has remained an important region for United States politics and history. Change and innovation have been key characteristics of the still-evolving neighborhood. With the spirit of innovation comes the new American cuisine of D.C.'s own Station 4.
As you explore D.C.'s southwest area, stop by Station 4 for a fun ambiance, craft drinks, top-shelf wines and a creative American dining experience. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will enhance your meal with expert menu suggestions and excellent service. If you're looking for a unique, exciting foodie experience, make a reservation at Station 4 in Southwest D.C.