Washington Dc From Murder Capital to Boomtown

Eric Broermann November 23, 2016

A quarter of a century ago, Washington DC had a fearsome reputation for crack abuse and rampant gun violence – it was the “murder capital” of the US. But now, once-blighted neighbourhoods close to the centre of the capital are thriving.

When Ruben Castaneda moved to the US capital in 1989 to take up a job with the Washington Post, he was struck by how easy it was to score crack.

Days after arriving in the city, he was taken to S Street Northwest by a “strawberry” – a streetwalker who offered sex in return for drugs.

“The moment she stepped out of the car, the drug dealers ran across the street and surrounded her,” he recalls. “Coming from Los Angeles, I was a little taken aback by how casually all this went down.”

They were in the Shaw/U Street neighbourhood, less than two miles from the White House.

In the first half of the century this part of the city had been home to a flourishing African-American scene. Duke Ellington played in the jazz clubs, Howard University offered a groundbreaking course on civil rights, and black businesses and professional services supported a growing middle class.

Things began to go wrong in the 1950s as an “unintended consequence of desegregation”, says Jane Freundel Levey of the Historical Society of Washington DC.

As in other US cities, when black people were allowed to move to more desirable neighbourhoods, many of those who could afford it decided to leave.

Meanwhile, “white flight” to the suburbs was reinforced as families sought to avoid desegregated schools.

But it was the riots sparked by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in 1968 that sent the area into a tailspin. Protesters firebombed and looted shops over several days, and troops were called in to restore order. Shaw emerged from the smoke with its civic and cultural heart hollowed out.

Image copyright AP

Read the full article here

Our Blog

Shades of Gray: Selecting Design’s Most Neutral Color Is Trickier Than You Think

April 3, 2024

It’s important to figure out which shade will complement the furniture and textiles.

A cozy living room with a light-colored couch, pillow, blanket, coffee table, side table, hardwood flooring, and white walls.
How to Update Your Kitchen Cabinets With Paint

April 3, 2024

Let’s take a look at when paint works, what colors of paint to use on your cabinets.

Significant Tax Credits? / The MCC, Explained

March 14, 2024

Each State has slightly differing MCC eligibility guidelines and requirements, such as.

5 Common Reasons to Evict a Tenant in Washington, DC

January 26, 2024

A question that almost every prospective client asks us is how we handle evictions.

A Festive Fall Gathering: The Vassar Broermann Group Client Appreciation Party at Butler’s Orchard!

November 1, 2023

This party was truly memorable and everyone had a great time catching up, and eating some food.

Selling a Property in Maryland? You Might Be Eligible for a MD Non-resident Withholding Tax Exemption

October 18, 2023

This was a great thing to know when helping our out-of-state client to sell their investment property.

Easy Home Improvements to Sell Your Home Faster

August 16, 2022

We have always felt presentation is key to selling for top dollar – even in a strong seller's market.

How to Look Up Permits in the DMV

January 16, 2022

We are frequently asked about how to find permit information, so we decided to aggregate the list of links for you!

The Daunting DC School Lottery System

December 9, 2021

The DC School Lottery system opens in January and closes in March each year. You are not alone!

Work With Us

Get assistance in determining current property value, crafting a competitive offer, writing and negotiating a contract, and much more. Contact us today.