March 16, 2014, Washington, DC: Redevelopment of DC’s Southwest waterfront is set to begin with groundbreaking on Wednesday, so I wanted to be sure to spend a few moments today taking “Before” photos of the soon-to-change scene. On a grey day with more unwelcome snow on the way, I ventured over to Hains Point to snap shots of the Southwest waterfront from across the Washington Channel. This is a section of skyline that will be altered dramatically starting this week and continuing for years to come. I’ve grown to love this corner of the city over the last three years, and I’m rooting for its success as it transforms from underutilized, prime real estate to a vibrant urban waterfront.
At midday, DC Sail teams are practicing on the Channel against the backdrop of Arena Stage and Cantina Marina. They navigate cold waters in the foreground of relocated houseboats and the slips they’ve vacated at Gangplank Marina a couple hundred yards west. I imagine how this scene might look on a cold March day several years from now: I contemplate whether the apartments one block off the Channel will still have water views and whether development here will have succeeded in steering clear of generic. I hope I’ll stand in this same spot then, documenting a waterfront that’s full of eclectic people who call this neighborhood home as they go about their Sunday routines in downtown DC.