This Map Shows How the New Deal Was a Big Deal for DCBreaking News
tags: New Deal, urban history, Washington DC, local history, Historical Tours
The Living New Deal project showcases sites built by FDR’s programs. To mark the launch of its map dedicated to DC, we asked historian Brent McKee—who spearheaded the effort—to highlight some local spots.
Check out the interactive map below. To see the DC sites, just enter “Washington, DC” in the text box.
Potomac River Band Shell
New Deal funds and WPA workers built this concert stage, located on a barge in the river. Listeners gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and in canoes to watch orchestras perform. By the 1960s, “the airport noise got too bad and it ruined the ability to have concerts there,” says McKee. There’s now no on-site evidence of the band shell’s existence.
Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant
Before this and other plants were built, the city’s waste went straight into the Potomac. “DC was a fairly dirty and smelly place in the 1920s and early ’30s,” says McKee. “The New Deal cleaned up DC in a literal way.” Today, Blue Plains—now much updated—serves more than 6 million people in the Washington area.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Restoration
The Anacostia house where Douglass spent the last 17 years of his life, known as Cedar Hill, had fallen into dis-repair when New Deal work-ers fixed it up and cataloged Douglass’s books and papers. “There’s a place in the back that looks like a little shed, and Douglass apparently went there for solitude and to read,” says McKee. “The New Deal helped it become a preserved place.”
comments powered by Disqus
- What Happens When SCOTUS is This Unpopular?
- Eve Babitz's Archive Reveals the Person Behind the Persona
- Making a Uranium Ghost Town
- Choosing History—A Rejoinder to William Baude on The Use of History at SCOTUS
- Alexandria, VA Freedom House Museum Reopens, Making Key Site of Slave Trade a Center for Black History
- Primary Source: Winning World War 1 By Fighting Waste at the Grocery Counter
- The Presidential Records Act Explains How the FBI Knew What to Search For at Mar-a-Lago
- Theocracy Now! The Forgotten Influence of L. Brent Bozell on the Right
- Janice Longone, Chronicler of American Food Traditions
- Revisiting Lady Rochford and Her Alleged Betrayal of Anne Boleyn