With news of the then (still) pending demolition and eventual redevelopment of what initially was named as The Town Center and what for many years I had known as Waterside Mall, it was one year ago on Saturday, 25 February 2006, that I photographed the "SW: Then & Now" photographic display at what in recent years has been referred to as the Waterfront Mall located at 4th and M Streets, in SW, WDC.
When searching the internet for information pertaining to the historiography project I learned that plans were formulated in the fall of 1999 when the Southwest History Task Force (HTF) was founded to create a photo exhibition for the Mall, that would show the history and main features of SW.
When in the spring of 2000, that HTF heard news that DC and its neighborhoods were to be the featured areas for the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, HTF curated the "Southwest Then and Now" Exhibit which opened on June 30th, the first week end of the Festival. With a symposium held in the old Roy Rogers space in the Mall.
Since then, and under the auspices of the DC Heritage Tourism Coalition, several historiographic projects have been developed. In particular, the Southwest Heritage Trail and its accompanying Wayfinding Signage Project and Walking Tour of Southwest.
Also of note, is the Call Box (Art on Call) Project which, I was aware of in the Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan and Kalorama areas. But was not familiar with a coordinated effort in the Southwest Community when I began my Southwest DC Call Box Project at Call Boxes - SW - WDC.
Southwest has about 28 of the old fire and police call boxes still remaining on the streets. Mark Farrell has taken on the chairmanship of this Project and will be working to find artists and sponsors for each box. Historic documents or photos will be inserted in the boxes to accompany the Heritage Trail. Mark is looking for artists and for sponsors of boxes to help select their historic material and to help maintain and monitor the health of their box. Call Mark at 484-0132 if you would like to help.
According to the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly, Inc. Annual Report 2005 - 2006 dated March 27, 2006 ... a grant has been provided to move the SW: Then and Now historic images display from the Waterfront Mall to a web-based presentation.
As a documentary photographer I understand what may involved with the development and curation of historiographic projects such as SW: Then & Now!".
And I am damn glad to learn that the "SW: Then And Now" photographic project will not be destroyed. As will be the fate of the four I. M. Pei designed apartment buildings comprising the Marina View Towers and Town Center complexes.
As a documentary photographer I hope for the opportunity to record their demolition.