Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

Considering what it portended for the forgotten little patch of land I had been blogging about for the previous 20 months, this post of mine late in the evening on Sept. 21, 2004 was pretty understated: "Baseball coming to Near Southeast? 'District officials disclosed plans yesterday to build a publicly financed stadium costing more than $400 million on the Anacostia waterfront near South Capitol Street, amid growing signs that Major League Baseball will attempt to move the Montreal Expos to Washington.' It doesn't mean that baseball in DC is a done deal, or that the Near Southeast site is a done deal, but it's a very interesting decision, and one that would have a huge impact on Near Southeast if it were to happen."
Yeah, kind of!
Late the next day, I went out and took a set of photos throughout the 21 acres that would eventually become home to Nationals Park, knowing it was important to get a bunch of "before" photos should this stadium actually come to pass. This was in the days when my photo-taking was pretty much limited to firing my little point-and-shoot digital camera from behind the wheel while I drove around the neighborhood, having not quite yet worked up the bravery to get out on foot. (Eventually I documented all of the buildings that were demolished to make way for the ballpark, but this Sept. 22 excursion marks for me official start of what would become an all-consuming project for me over the next four years.)
It wasn't until the next week that it was all made official, that the Expos were coming to town and that the city would pursue building a new stadium in Near Southeast. And the reality of the ballpark didn't truly come to pass until that marathon city council session in February 2006 that first voted down then finally ratified the stadium lease agreement (signed by MLB the next month), followed two days later by the court ruling allowing the eminent domain seizure of the land for the ballpark to move forward. Demolitions began in May 2006, and the construction was completed on time for the official opener on March 30, 2008.
To look at not only the Sept. 22 ballpark-area photos but also a batch I took mainly around the Cappers footprint a few days earlier is to be reminded yet again of how much change has come to this area in the same amount of time that many people, say, pay off a new car. It's almost jarring to catch glimpses in these shots of the old South Capitol Street viaduct (demolished in July 2007) that in many ways was such a symbol of the old Near Southeast--how it walled the neighborhood off from Southwest, and how it helped perpetuate the area's overgrown industrial feeling, while allowing commuters to blow past it all without really having to look at it.
It's going to be a while before big-time development resumes in the area (just like everywhere else in the city/region/country), but that doesn't make the changes that have already happened to this formerly forgotten little spot a mile south of the U.S. Capitol any less striking to look at.
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Brandon Green says: (9/21/09 4:05 PM)
Wow--it doesn't seems much longer than five years ago.


Jay says: (9/21/09 4:53 PM)
Wow JD, you just triggered a flood of memories.

I grew up elsewhere and was in the Air Force and never had a local team to follow. Following the progress of MLBs return to Washington was a first for me, and your site was where a lot of that following happened. And all the trips I made from Alexandria to see first hand the progress of the ballpark.

Its interesting that Near Southeast was not the site mentioned in the early stages of where to put a ballpark if and when Les Expos were transferred to the nation's capital. The other sites didn't work out and seemingly out of no where, Near Southeast was chosen.

In my humble opinion, it has worked out the best. The crown will come in seven or eight years when JDLand is looking fab and we get awarded the MLB All-Star Game. Bonuses awarded if and when the the home team plays in the post-season!



Pat says: (9/26/09 2:07 PM)
$400 million? Bwahahhaah.

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1300 4TH ST SE 1001   
02/22/21 
AP BOWER RETAIL LLC / null
E2104231 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1346 4TH ST SE APT 1M   
02/06/21 
null / NA NA NA
EHOP21945129 / HOME OCCUPATION
1331 4TH ST SE R-2   
02/08/21 
FC 1331 LLC / FC 1331 LLC
BP2101814 / POST CARD
10 I ST SE   
02/16/21 
CAPITOL HILL RACQUET CLUB / NA; VICTORIA STEINHOFF
SB2100112 / CONSTRUCTION
Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
555 L ST SE   
01/29/21 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / RENNE WELL; RICK HARLAN SCHNEIDER
B2102004 / CONSTRUCTION
DGS PROJECT REHABILITATION+RESTORATION OF THE HISTORIC LINCOIN FIELDHOUSE
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 20003   
02/23/21 
809-853 NEW JERSEY AVE ACQUISITION LLC / SUSANA VAZQUEZ
AH2100728 / CONSTRUCTION
Dismantling of tower crane.
809 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/11/21 
GREYSTAR GP LLC 809-853 NEW JERSEY AVENUE ACQUISITION LLC / null
E2103926 / SUPPLEMENTAL
853 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/11/21 
GREYSTAR GP LLC / null
E2103924 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/05/21 
GS CSX HOTEL OWNER LLC / null
E2103762 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1275 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/02/21 
FC 1275 NJ LLC / null
E2103662 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/11/21 
FC 1275 NJ LLC / null
P2103445 / SUPPLEMENTAL
848 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
02/16/21 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / VICTORIA STEINHOFF; TBD
SB2100111 / CONSTRUCTION
Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

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