This week on Georgetown Time Machine, GM visits Water St. below the Whitehurst Freeway.
This is a fairly straightforward edition. The date is crystal clear from the photo itself, which states that it’s from July 11, 1991. The photo was taken in conjunction with a rehabilitation project that was performed on the Whitehurst. (Another such rehab project would be performed in the late 90s).
There’s not a lot that’s particularly striking about this photo except the obvious. Namely, the giant parking lot which once stood where a the Georgetown Waterfront Park now is.
The photo is taken from approximately the intersection with Potomac and Water. This is what it looks like today:
As other photos from the same set indicate, there were still railroad tracks down the center of Water St. and K St. at this point:
The last train to use these tracks had only run six years prior, which seems crazy in retrospect. Did they share the road with cars?
Regardless, it was due to the tireless efforts and ambitious vision of local residents that transformed the parking lot into one of the crown jewels of parks in a city full of beautiful parks. We should all take a lesson from their efforts that the seemingly impossible isn’t if we work hard enough.