SW Waterfront is about to undergo an extreme case of Extreme Makeover. Once a sleepy nook and cranny, home to hundreds of house boats, it’s about to be the crown jewel of waterfronts. Below is Gangplank Marina where those hundreds of house boats used to park, bouncing in the Washington Channel. Now, it’s like an empty street, devoid of any traffic, as the developers ramp up to get The Wharf ready for its new look.
In the background is Hains Point with the Cherry Blossoms coming to life.
Usually I have to use the key fob to get into the gate where I live. Today, though, there were no restrictions.
River Park is a mid-century oasis amongst DC’s neoclassic design, due to the vision of architect Charles Goodman. Following his design of the Reagan Airport and award-winning Hollin Hills community in Virginia, Goodman turned his attention to River Park in 1962. Sponsored by Reynolds Aluminum, Goodman eschewed the colonial revival so popular in region, and designed a glass- and aluminum-clad community of mixed-sized units. River Park consists of two joined high-rise buildings and clusters of townhouses surrounding courtyards to encourage a sense of community.
River Park is renowned for its unique “barrel roof” townhouses. These charming, half-moon upper floors create a pretty and unusual view, both from the inside and outside. These townhouses also have decorative aluminum facades – distinctive design elements that are also found on the highrise balconies.
Since 1962, hundreds of families have been raised here – and many of the parents stayed – so that the membership is extraordinarily diverse in every way. And at its 50th anniversary, River Park continues this tradition of providing housing for young families and single professionals living in DC.
The demolition of Waterside Mall is done. Now it’s time to tear a hole in the ground, tear down some more buildings, make way for the new SW Waterfront when we won’t even recognize these pictures of what was Waterside Mall.
As I stood at the corner of 4th and M Streets SW, I took this photo of what will soon be history. When I moved here I’d walk to the only business open inside Waterside Mall — the CVS. Or I’d cut through the mall to get to the other side where everyone who lived over there seemed less like neighbors and more like another community though we were only a superblock away.
But already DC is changing right before my eyes as we all wait and see what’s going to happen to the Safeway, what new businesses will move to the area and if they’ll connect 4th Street to make neighbors neighbors again.