Georgetown Time Machine: Waterfront Park

Photo by Ben Shumin.

This week on Georgetown Time Machine, GM is going back only a very short time ago: to 2006. The above photo was taken in December of that year, and shows what the Georgetown Waterfront Park used to look like. GM came across it recently, and was taken aback by it.

This was so recent. Most readers probably can even remember this. Hell, GM started the Georgetown Metropolitan only two years after this photo was taken. He remembers this clearly. It may be 14 years ago, but it still feels like yesterday.

But still, even having seen it with our own eyes, it’s shocking to be reminded just how awful this scene was so, so very recently ago. Where Fords and Toyotas once parked, a lush tree-filled park now stands:

It’s a great reminder to consider what the efforts of great organizations like the Friends of the Georgetown Waterfront Park can accomplish with the hard work and remarkable dedication of its volunteers. Judy Bonderman, Katharine Sullivan, and Ann Satterthwaite first came together in 1978 to form the group that would eventually spur the creation of the park. The final phase of the park was not opened until 2011.

This is also another great reminded that even though auto-infrastructure (such as a massive surface parking lot) exists, it does not mean it’s absolutely critical. We can imagine a world without it, realize it, and not suffer an apocalypse.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Georgetown Time Machine: Waterfront Park

  1. kerlin4321

    Let’s not forget that this came about in large part thanks to the years of hard work by the late, great Frida Burling.

  2. georgetowncitizen

    Another hero of the effort for the waterfront park was Sen. Charles Percy, who after retiring lived in Georgetown.
    I well remember that awful empty space where the park now thrives and is well attended. And let us also remember that, up through the 50s and probably into the 70s (the Georgetown Metropolitan will know precisely!) most of Georgetown south of M St. was essentially an industrial area, and eventually a slummy, derelict one at that….nothing like what it is now.
    So we complain about the shifting retail/restaurant scene of the “village,” but overall I doubt that Georgetown has ever been better than it is today.

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