Newcomers and Old Timers Bond Over Neighborhood History

If you want to see gentrification-in-action, head to H Street NE, where disputes between longtime and newer residents and businesses are well-documented. But a new project by Cultural Tourism DC is helping build some bridges; a heritage trail is planned for the corridor, with people of all stripes involved in helping to document the neighborhood’s past.

Community meetings to determine what goes on the signs bring out new and old residents alike, Levey said, groups who are often at odds over neighborhood issues. Off H Street, for instance, new white residents are annoyed by the overflow of cars at African American churches on Sunday, while older African American residents worry about being priced out of their homes.

“We usually have community meetings over concerns or controversies,” said [Marqui] Lyons, whose family has lived on H Street for five generations. “So it was nice to have a harmony-building project where people who had just moved to the community become enraptured with the history and older residents feel like their stories are being collected and listened to.”

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