L’Enfant Plaza From the Air in 1973

L’Enfant Plaza has to be one of the most bleak places in D.C. It’ such a shame that an entire quadrant of the city was basically bulldozed to make way for the crappy urban renewal of the 1960s.

- click image for more -
Southwest Washington, D.C. With South End Of L'Enfant Plaza In Foreground, April 1973
Southwest Washington, D.C. With South End Of L’Enfant Plaza In Foreground, April 1973

Source: U.S. National Archives

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  • ZZinDC

    You’re a little off on your titling and caption. L’Enfant is in the background of the picture, but barely visible. The big white building in tthe foreground is the former US Dept of Transportiation building (The Nassif Building) between 6th & 7th Sts SW and the curved building behind it is the Dept of Housing and Urban Development between 7th and 9th St. L’Enfant is just beyond, on 10th St. ; one small glimpse of it can be seen just above HUD. St. Dominic’s Church , one of the very few survivors ofthe destruciton of old Southwest ,stands just on the edge of the freeway .

  • The Nassif building there is so bright in this sepia-tone that I can’t imagine the glare when it was new. Like the light of a thousand suns — or like a giant KenCen (same architect) with prison-like slit windows.

  • M_B_G

    The David Nassif Building was recently entirely reclad in glass and renamed Constitution Center. It is reputedly the largest privately-owned office building in DC.

  • ak

    My grandfather’s family lived near 10th and E SW from at least 1900 to the 1940’s (not quite in this picture- now part of L’Enfant Plaza). St. Dominic’s was where they went to church.

  • SMcK

    Visited the Nassif building many many times ’70s-’00s on trips to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.