WATERFRONT/SOUTHWEST DC, AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE TRAIL
The waterfront neighborhood of Southwest was especially important to freedom-seekers before Emancipation. Although one of the city's oldest areas, today Southwest looks like one of the newest, with an array of 1960s Modernist apartments and townhouses. After World War II, the neighborhood was the nation's first to experience the U.S. Government's "urban renewal" program, which resulted in the demolition of most of its older structures. In the process, most of Southwest's primarily poor and working-class community was removed. Thus there are few physical remains associated with the people and events noted below. However, the river bears witness, and the 17 signs of River Farms to Urban Towers: Southwest Heritage Trail display maps and images illustrating these important stories along the waterfront and throughout the community.