The Shaw neighborhood gave birth to Black Broadway said Rebecca Sheir in her exploration of Shaw’s past as a hub of black culture and history on Metro Connection. Sheir spoke with Alex Padro, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, who said:
The neighborhood from its earliest days was very strongly African-American, as a result of a number of Union army camps that were located here to accommodate what were called “contraband,” or escaped slaves, or former slaves that had managed to make their way to the District of Columbia.
… We had schools, churches, hospitals, a university, all established and constructed in close proximity to be able to serve that large African-American population.
Listen to the entire segment, as Padro and others explain what happened to Shaw after housing laws changed, the 1968 riots and the new convention center was built where parking lots and dilapidated buildings once sat. In the latest Census, the U Street corridor reported no longer having a majority black population, and Shaw now has a number of luxury housing options.
Now add this to the mix: a major development at 9th and O Streets, NW just cleared a major hurdle. The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently approved a $117 million loan for CityMarket at O, a major retail and housing project featuring a Giant, luxury and market rate housing and a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.
How much more will Shaw change?