Greater Greater Washington

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GGW made urbanism a mainstream topic. Donate to keep us going strong.

Once upon a time, having a walkable, urban city was a niche idea in our region, one special interest among many. Today it's a mainstream discussion topic all over the region's cafés and living rooms. Greater Greater Washington helped make that happen.


Photo by Tim Brown on Flickr.

Before Greater Greater Washington entered the scene eight years ago, there was already a collection of writers covering planning and transportation topics in DC. I wrote at BeyondDC, Richard Layman wrote at Rebuilding Place, and Dan Reed wrote at Just Up The Pike, to name a few. But none of us had a large reach. None of us had the resources to cover a wide variety of topics, every day, in time to be relevant to the day's news.

DC's online urbanist community, such as it was, had no home base and no leader. We were a niche network of geek wonks, great at expressing opinions but not so good at building broad support or generating action.

Greater Greater Washington changed all that.

By providing a single place for us to rally around, GGW made us more than the sum of our parts. GGW became a home-base for the city's urbanists to pool our ideas and amplify our voices. More people joined us, and as our voices grew we began to have impacts outside our echo chamber of wonks.

The Washington Post noticed us, and other media organizations like WAMU radio started coming to us when they needed a quote.

Before long we were changing city budgets and affecting development plans. More recently, we've contributed to big wins in zoning and bus lanes.

Thanks to Greater Greater Washington, urbanists in the DC region are a political force. We've gone mainstream, and we're making a difference.

Please help us keep making a difference. Please donate what you can, so our community will still have the strong voice it needs.

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Links


Breakfast links: More Shelters, fewer riders


Photo by jGregor on Flickr.
Shelters out-of-place?: Mayor Bowser's plan to open eight new homeless shelters in the District is already facing backlash. A flyer circulating in Ward 1 lists "congestion, loitering, safety, and decreased property values" as potential issues. (DCist)

Ridership down: Ridership on all transit modes declined by 5.4% last year, according to WMATA's second quarter financial update. Rail ridership took the hardest hit, and the drop is creating a budget gap. (DCist)

To peak or not-peak: Due to unsynced clocks, some Metro stations have been charging peak fares at off-peak hours. Metro has extended the off-peak grace period at affected stations until it can fix the glitch. (Post)

Toxic department: The DC Fire Department's medical director resigned from her position this week, citing the department's "toxic" resistance to reform. (WTOP)

Bus lane patience: 16th Street's S buses are getting a dedicated lane, but the project will likely could take 4 years to complete. Part of the reason: A new system that gives buses priority at stop lights will take a while to get up and running. (WAMU)

Taxing Reston: Officials say Reston will require more than $2.6 billion in transportation work over the next 40 years. A special tax district might help pay for it. (Reston Now)

Pay to build?: In Virginia, developers help pay for public projects like roads, parks, and schools. Some lawmakers argue that this proffer system means higher costs for buyers while others say it keeps cities functioning. (WAMU)

BRT in Richmond: Richmond is getting a BRT network that proponents will be the start of a regional system. Some opponents say the coming route won't adequately poor neighborhoods and job centers. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Breaking even: In the DC region, homeowners must own their property for an average of 4.5 years before its value outweighs the cost of renting. It takes longer to reach the "break-even point" in our region than anywhere else in the US. (Urbanturf)

Ackridge out: DC-based developer Akridge pulled out of a deal to develop the 1.3 million-square-foot Loudoun Parkway Center South. Detroit-based Soave Enterprises now stands to develop the transit-oriented site on its own. (WBJ)

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Development


Muriel Bowser announces eight sites for homeless shelters

DC is working to close the homeless shelter at DC General and replace it with smaller shelters spread around the city. Today, Mayor Bowser announced where they will go and a set of public engagement meetings to discuss the plan.


Image from NBC Washington.

The DC General shelter has needed replacement for a long, long time. Spreading homeless residents out around the city is generally a good move. To segregate all homelessness in one part of the city forces all of the residents to one area and also concentrates the negative impacts of a shelter.

While a big facility does have some economies of scale and makes it easier to offer some services to all of the residents with staff in a single location, it's not fair for some parts of the city to be able to push all of this necessary service to someone else's community. Living in a mixed-income area instead of an all-homeless enclave also can benefit the shelter residents themselves.

Bowser set as a goal to place one new shelter in each of DC's eight wards.

Our contributors weighed in on the choice of locations.

Kelli Raboy wrote: "It seems like most of the sites have access to at least some transit (mostly frequent bus routes), so that's good."

Neil Flanagan added:

The one in Ward 3 is sort of in between Glover Park and the Cathedral, not ideal from a transit perspective, but it is a lot that's been empty for a while, and it's a lovely neighborhood with decent access to services.

All over, it seems to be in line with expectations of not only equity on principle, but also the benefits of distributing social services more evenly.

Gray Kimbrough brought up an eternal question with social services and below-market housing: It's cheaper to put it in the lowest-cost parts of the city, but spreading it out can be better for the people getting the services and for the communities that would otherwise have the concentration. But it's more expensive.
The 213-bed women's shelter stuck out to me, especially when I realized that it's a prime Chinatown location. This is much of the backstory.

This is taking the place of new residential development which surely could have been traded for a new, less prime location. But it's certainly transit accessible.

It also seems possible to me that that might be the only one to open any time soon (since the article says the others are slated for 2018 at best).

Canaan Merchant elaborated on the tradeoffs:
It would be important to note that the best places for equity might not be the best places to get a good deal for costs. This is an important distinction when you have a lot of stuff moving to places east of the river because it costs less to do things over there but residents criticize though decisions because they say that keeps the area depressed.
Finally, Geoff Hatchard brought up an interesting political side angle:
By explicitly making sure that each ward gets a shelter, you create a situation at redistricting time where you need to make sure you're not moving the lines so one ward gets multiple shelters and another gets none.

Normally, that shouldn't be too difficult to avoid, if you put the shelters closer to the geographic centers of the wards. But, many of these are placed near ward boundaries. The proposed locations in Wards 1 through 4 all could, at some point in the near future, create a type of restriction on how redistricting happens.

(Granted, this is speculative, but having been on the redistricting committee last time around for Ward 5, you'd be surprised what gets proposed as 'requirements' for the drawing of lines.)

It's also somewhat interesting how the Ward 7 & 8 locations are so close to the Prince George's County line. It may not be intentional, but it's notable when one looks at the map.

The community meetings are Thursday, February 11, from 6:30-8:30 pm:
  • Ward 1 - Anthony Bowen YMCA, 1325 W Street NW (Conference Room)
  • Ward 2 - One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St NW (Old Council Chambers)
  • Ward 3 - Metropolitan Memorial UMC, 3401 Nebraska Ave NW (Great Hall)
  • Ward 4 - Paul Public Charter School, 5800 8th St NW (Auditorium)
  • Ward 5 - New Canaan Baptist Church, 5800 8th St NW (Auditorium)
  • Ward 6 - Friendship Baptist Church, 900 Delaware St SW
  • Ward 7 - Capitol View Public Library, 5001 Central Ave SE
  • Ward 8 - Matthews Memorial Baptist Church, 2616 MLK Ave SE (Fellowship Hall)
In the long run, the homeless residents really need not shelters but permanent housing. That housing, too, ought to go in many different neighborhoods.

What do you think of the choices?

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Photography


Think you know Metro? It's whichWMATA week 77

After a winter hiatus, it's (finally!) time for the seventy-seventh installment of our weekly "whichWMATA" series! Below are photos of five stations in the Washington Metro system. Can you identify each from its picture?


Image 1


Image 2


Image 3


Image 4


Image 5

We'll hide the comments so the early birds don't spoil the fun. Please have your answers in by noon on Thursday.

Information about contest rules, submission guidelines, and a leaderboard is available at http://ggwash.org/whichwmata.

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

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Transit


Did Metro handle buses correctly in this mostly-non-storm?

On Monday afternoon, WMATA announced that Metrobuses would only run on a "moderate" snow plan, which cancels or reroutes a large number of buses. But when snow didn't materialize on much of the region, the agency restored service at dawn Tuesday. Did it make the right calls?


Not what happened. Photo by tadfad on Flickr.

Ned Russell wasn't so enthusiastic about the original decision. On Monday, he wrote,

This seems a bit much for what is forecast to be rain to an inch dusting in the city. NYC buses don't change at all for this little snow. I live in Eckington and the three primary routes that serve the neighbourhood—D8, 80 and P6—are all detoured or cancelled with far fewer stops in and around the neighborhood.
Gray Kimbrough felt some whiplash from the decisions:
I understand that there's a lot of uncertainty here and it's impossible to please everyone, but keeping transit service running is important to the region. Preemptively announcing significantly limited service only to switch back to regular service early this morning was disruptive to a lot of people.

I guess this could be the new normal strategy, which could be okay if we're clear on what it means. "WMATA plans to curtail bus service tomorrow but will reevaluate at 4 AM; check back for updates" would have been a much more helpful communication to riders if that was their intended strategy all along.

I checked and the @metrobusinfo Twitter account did tweet the revision just before 4 am, though @wmata didn't until 6 am and it didn't really filter through the media until later in the morning.

Other contributors, however, defended Metro, saying this was a very tough situation.

Abigail Zenner felt that she'd rather Metro preemptively cancel service than try to run it and have buses get stuck, as she's experienced in her neighborhood of Glover Park.

Warmer temperatures mean no ice. It could have easily gone the other way. We are cursed to be on the snow line.

In the past, we would slide to the bus stop only to find out a bus was stuck on a slippery spot never to be heard from again and blocking the road.

Adam Froehlig explained the extremely difficult forecast:
Yesterday afternoon it looked tricky. The "cutoff line" was basically right on top of the region, aligned southwest to northeast. This is a difficult forecast, as Abigail mentioned earlier. In scenarios like this where you're close to the freezing point not just at the surface but at lower altitudes, all it takes is a difference of one or two degrees at the right altitude to make the difference between rain, snow, or some other form of freezing precipitation.

What looks like happened is temperatures stayed just warm enough at the right altitudes to keep the precip as mostly rain or rain/snow mix from the District south and east. It should be noted (and highlights the cutoff mentioned above) that Dulles and BWI have been all snow since 4am, while National has been oscillating between rain or a rain/snow mix.

So the change overnight is likely what prompted WMATA to change their plans this morning, and also played a factor in OPM's status decision.

Jonathan Neeley also gave Metro the benefit of the doubt:
The thought I keep coming back to is that the blizzard was a chance to not screw up royally, and Metro seized it. They agency didn't handle everything perfectly, but given its however-many-years' worth of poor decision making and customer service, I think it's OK to say things went well.

Obviously, yesterday's precautions wound up being unnecessary, but as others have said, that isn't always clear until pretty late in the game. I don't know exactly what factors went into making decisions about bus service, both yesterday and pre-blizzard. But I'm willing to consider that being a bit too trigger happy in that realm has been part of a tradeoff that meant a positive move for bus and rail service overall.


Also not what happened. Photo by Samir Luther on Flickr.

While contributors reached a consensus that the forecast was understandably uncertain (one model predicted no snow and then 10 inches on consecutive runs six hours apart), some were still not persuaded that going to the moderate plan was necessary in the first place. Kelli Raboy said:

Going to the moderate snow plan was an overreaction, even for the worst-case forecasts. The moderate plan cuts a significant number of routes. The light snow plan would have been more reasonable.

Many people in this region rely on WMATA to get to work. When they cut bus routes far in advance of potential snow, it sends the message that WMATA is not a reliable option for transportation. I'm lucky to be able to telework when WMATA overreacts like this. Many people, especially the underserved in our communities, do not have that luxury.

From an operational standpoint, I understand the need to have a plan ready several hours in advance (so that employees and buses are in the right place at the right time). But that reasoning went out the window when WMATA changed their minds at the last minute anyway.

I also think they did a poor job communicating the changes. There was never any suggestion yesterday that the plan could change in the morning.

Matt Johnson agreed:
I think Metro is being overly cautious, and too much so in this case. The forecast was very uncertain (0-10" forecast), but Capital Weather Gang favored the "nuisance" end heavily, meaning that they thought the best chances were for very little snow.

Metro announced that they were going to "moderate" snow plan, which cuts service to many residents and businesses throughout the region long before forecasts were nailed down. And I suspect strongly that they were simply managing expectations. "Oh, look everybody, we're doing more than we promised!" That's not acceptable in this case, because as has been pointed out, the cancellation of much service was the last word anyone heard about it.

It would have been much more prudent for the agency to have said Monday night, "Given the uncertain forecast, Metrobus service and routes may be affected in the morning. Please check the website for up to date information in the morning. An announcement about service will be made no later than 5:00 am."

Ned Russell added, "Residents should not have to check their transit options every morning of their commute. I imagine a lot of people are not in the habit of repeatedly checking WMATA's status round-the-clock."

What do you think?

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Sustainability


How the Navy, baseball, and government planners made Capitol Riverfront one of DC's hottest neighborhoods

Capitol Riverfront, the area around Nats ballpark, ranks high on any list of Washington's most rapidly transforming neighborhoods. But it took more than baseball to make that transformation happen.


Image from the 2003 Anacostia Waterfront Framework Plan.

By the last decade of the 20th Century, Washington's Anacostia River waterfront was a crime-plagued and dirty testament to urban neglect. It wasn't a nice place to be.

But beginning in the 1990s, a string of ambitious plans, government projects, and private-sector infusions have turned the neighborhood into a thriving and desirable place to spend time.

Here's the story of how that happened.

Metrorail brings federal workers

When the Metrorail Green Line opened its Navy Yard station in 1991, that opened the door to an infusion of people and money into the neighborhood. That infusion began in earnest in the mid 1990s when two federal groups decided to move thousands of office workers into the area: The Naval Sea Command (NAVSEA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Following post-Cold War military base consolidation, the US Navy opted to move over 5,000 NAVSEA workers from offices in Crystal City to the Navy Yard. Meanwhile, DOT announced it would build a new headquarters four blocks from the Navy Yard complex that would house over 6,000 workers.

Those two massive construction projects, the ensuing permanent influx of employees, and the subsequent ripple effect of service retail and of contractors looking for nearby offices, combined to provide a huge economic stimulus.

The District does its part

Michael Stevens, director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID), points to the 1999 election of Mayor Anthony Williams as the next turning point.

Under Mayor Williams' direction, DC began a concerted effort to re-plan and better manage the Anacostia riverfront. That effort culminated with the 2003 Anacostia Waterfront Initiative master plan, which provided a consensus vision for what the Anacostia shore could become, including its layout of streets, buildings, and public spaces.

Following the District's adoption of the master plan, the riverfront BID started up in 2007. At first the BID simply worked to make riverfront streets cleaner and safer, but as successes mounted their mission evolved to building parks, running public events, and managing economic development.

In 2004 the Montreal Expos moved to DC, becoming the Washington Nationals. City leaders opted to build a permanent stadium along the riverfront, and Nats Park opened in 2008.

The baseball stadium did unquestionably bring new people to the riverfront, and certainly helped spread the center of gravity south from M Street. Together with other parks, such as the 20-mile Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, the riverfront has become unique among emerging DC neighborhoods with great public recreational spaces being built right alongside housing, retail and offices

Housing pressure mounts

The riverfront's renaissance hasn't been without controversy, particularly where older residential buildings, and the people in them, are concerned.

A $35 million federal grant to redevelop the Arthur Capper / Carrollsburg public housing project surrounding 4th Street SE has been especially challenging.

The 23-acre housing project was built in the 1950s with 707 homes. But with DC's population increasing and demand for housing skyrocketing, 700-some homes on 23 acres just isn't enough, not four blocks from a Metro station.

Although the plan was to replace low-income apartments on a one-for-one basis, residents were displaced during construction. Gentrification was a definite fear.

But with the redevelopment area now approaching its planned 1,700 units, and full replacement of income-restricted homes guaranteed, the upheaval seems to have been worth it. Hundreds of low-income families have new homes, and added 1,000 households are enjoying the revitalized neighborhood.

With offices, entertainment, and parks in place, and an increasing number of residents in the redeveloped Arthur Capper / Carrollsburg project and elsewhere, the riverfront is truly booming.

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Links


Breakfast links: This time around


Photo by Joe Flood on Flickr.
Here we snow again: Officials are trying to stay on top of today's snow business. DC's Snow Team went into "full deployment" overnight; Metrobus reversed its plan to offer limited service today. (WTOP)

Paid leave on the table: DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has a pared down version of DC's family leave act which he hopes is more palpable. The draft version will go before a public hearing later this week and reduces the 16 weeks of paid leave in the original bill to 12 and puts a sliding scale for payout based on income. (WAMU)

Failure to communicate: Metro has temporarily removed two employees involved in last weeks incident on the Orange Line. The close call may have been caused by miscommunication between the train's operator and a rail controller. (Post, NBC4)

Feds pressure WMATA: USDOT says it will withhold funding for transit from DC, MD, and VA if they can't establish a new Metro safety oversight body on time. Meeting the 2017 deadline is tricky since it requires identical bills in three legislatures. (WAMU)

No sidewalks, no peace: A resident of Fairfax County points out that in many areas, there aren't even sidewalks, let alone ones the county can clear after a snow. There, walking is dangerous all year round. (Post)

Burnham Place will rise: When might buildings rise over the railroad tracks north of Union Station? Not for a while - first, it needs a master plan, which could take through 2018. But the vision for the area once done is impressive. (UrbanTurf)

Zoned in Georgetown: What does DC's new zoning update look like in Georgetown? It will be easier for new corner stores to open and for homeowners to add accessory apartments to their homes. (Georgetown Metropolitan)

Bikeshare ideology: The WashCycle debunks an argument against proposed changes which would make it easier for localities to use federal funds for bikeshare. The argument cites Capital Bikeshare as an example of mismanagement. (Daily Signal)

Save the tree(house): DDOT says that the Capitol Hill residents who built a treehouse over the historic alley behind their home have to move the structure. The family wants to crowdsource the cost of moving the treehouse off of public space. (DCist)

Moving on up?: If only the solution to our housing crisis were as easy as this Superbowl ad makes it seem. (Post)

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Meta


Can you sign up for a monthly sustaining gift to Greater Greater Washington?

Our reader drive is underway! Our donation box, by default, suggests making a monthly donation. Here's why we're so interested in those. Can you sign up for one?

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We love our readers and our reader drive has been a very important part of Greater Greater Washington's budget planning since we started it three years ago (when we started having a paid editor for the first time). All of your contributions mean a lot and have helped us continue providing this blog we all enjoy writing for and you enjoy reading.

It's also a lot of work to set up a reader drive every year, and each time, we have to essentially start from zero. There's a big exception: the 46 of you who've signed up for monthly ongoing contributions of $5 to $50 per month and the 31 of you who're making automatic yearly gifts of $25-250.

This gives us an ongoing baseline of revenue to plan around, and while we can't count on it—you're of course free to stop at any time—it makes our income a little more predictable. Predictability is really, really helpful for an organization, especially a small one like Greater Greater Washington.

We've set a goal for this reader drive of increasing our monthly sustaining supporters by a third. Can you be one of them? Just choose a level of $5, $10, $25, or enter your own higher amount in the box here:

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If you are already one of those 46 + 31, thank you so much! Your support really means a lot. If you were one of the handful of people who'd been monthly supporters and your contribution lapsed, either because your credit card on file with PayPal expired or for some other reason, I hope you will also consider re-upping for a monthly gift.

And if you aren't comfortable signing up monthly or yearly, we still super duper appreciate your one-time support as well! Thanks again for reading and helping keep Greater Greater Washington producing high-quality content every day!

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Events


Events roundup: Transit preferences and safer streets

Learn about the latest stats on transit preference in US cities, hear from Maryland's congressional candidates, and chime in on plans for a new pedestrian bridge, redevelopment of a bridge over the Potomac, and complete streets in Alexandria.


Photo by SDOT

National transit poll: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently polled residents of the 50 largest metro areas on their preferences for biking, walking, and transit. Learn more about the results from Hugh Morris, the manager of NAR's Smart Growth Program, at Tuesdays at APA, February 9, 5:30 pm at 1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 750 West.

After the jump: A candidates' forum in Montgomery County, a Ballston pedestrian bridge, Long Bridge, and King Street.

Maryland candidates forum: Head over to this month's Action Committee for Transit meeting to hear from the candidates for Maryland's District 8 Republican congressional primary, moderated by Glen Bottoms, from American Conservative Center for Public Transportation. The forum is this Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 pm at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place.

Ballston bridge: As part of the Ballston Quarter Redevelopment, a new pedestrian bridge could create better access to the Ballston Metro. Learn more about the project and share your opinions at the kick-off meeting this Tuesday, February 9 at 6:30 pm at Ballston Common Mall (4328 Wilson Boulevard).

A plan for Long Bridge: Long Bridge runs across the Potomac River and serves freight trains, Amtrak, and commuter rail. A plan is in the works to replace or rehabilitate it. Learn more and share your opinion on the second phase of the plan this Wednesday, February 10, at 470 L'Enfant Plaza SW from 4 to 7 pm.

Complete King Street: As part of the King Street Complete Street Project, the King Street corridor between Radford Street and Janneys Lane is slated for bike and pedestrian improvements. Share your opinions on the project at the second public meeting this Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 pm at TC Williams High School (3330 King Street).

Calendar: Beyond what we've highlighted here, there are many other worthwhile events across the region. Check out more great events in our events calendar:

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers that should go on our events calendar? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

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History


DC tried fixing its housing shortage by building tiny houses... in the 1880s

Last fall, DC Councilmember Vincent Orange proposed building 1,000 "tiny houses" for low-income residents and millennials, but the idea drew wide criticism as being "gimmicky" and potentially discriminatory. What many don't know is that Orange's initiative wasn't the first time District leaders sought to solve big housing problems with small houses.


Tiny houses in DC. Photo by Inhabitat on Flickr.

In Washington's earliest years, alleys housed horses and privies. As African Americans began streaming into the city during the Civil War, most alleys were converted to residential uses and many small wood shacks went up. These quickly became overcrowded and concerns about disease and crime followed.

Between 1872 and 1878 nearly 1,000 houses in Washington's alleys were condemned, with housing reformers and public health activists pushing to clear out these blighted, crowded, and "insanitary" spaces. But in 1878, Congress re-organized the District government by creating the commissioner system. Unlike the earlier government, the reconstituted Board of Health lacked the authority to condemn insanitary buildings.

That led to a return of tiny houses in alleys. In 1890, the Washington Evening Star described the concentration of poor people in DC's alleys as a result of increasing property values. Small houses in alleys created housing for Washington's poor and profits for the city's real estate speculators, the paper reported.

Critics assailed the move as pandering to influential real estate speculators. "Construction of houses in the alleys promised profits," James Ring told Congress in 1944. When he was speaking, Ring was the administrative officer for the National Capital Housing Authority, and the Senate was holding hearings on extending a deadline to vacate Washington's remaining alley dwellings.

What Ring said next about the period between 1880 and 1892 is important: "There were philosophically inclined persons who sincerely believed that well-built little houses in the alleys were far better socially than insanitary alley shacks."

Ring went on to describe a construction boom in Washington's alleys, what he called "a very active period of buying and selling the rear ends of street lots."

In a 2014 the DC State Historic Preservation Office published a survey of alley buildings, along with a history of their development. Architectural historian Kim Prothro Williams wrote that the 1880s construction boom simply replaced small insanitary wood buildings that lacked indoor plumbing with small insanitary brick buildings that lacked indoor plumbing.


1880s house in Naylor Court, just east of 10th Street NW. Photo by the author.

Washington's first tiny house movement ended in 1892 when Congress passed a law prohibiting construction of new houses in alleys less than 30 feet wide and lacking sewage connections. The Washington Post astutely observed that the new health laws would have an immediate impact on the city and its growing suburbs. "Cheap abodes for the poorer class of people within the city limits will no longer be obtainable," the paper reported in April 1892. "Facilities will, therefore, have to be found for transportation to the suburbs, where the man drawing a moderate salary can own a lot, build a comfortable home, and then be able to reach it."

Fast forward 100 years to a Washington that is increasingly unaffordable, with a growing population, and which is struggling with finding ways to reduce reliance on the automobile. The roots of these contemporary urban ills may be seen in the solutions for nineteenth century problems.


Row of houses built in the 1880s, Snow's Court in Foggy Bottom. Photo by the author.

Orange's tiny houses proposal could mean Washington may be coming full circle to embrace the benefits of housing and economic diversity. Though the Washington City Paper compared the potential outcome of Orange's proposal to the creation of new fangled Hoovervilles—"Orangevilles," a columnist called thema more apt comparison would be to housing that was widespread in Washington nearly a century before the Great Depression.

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