20 Years Ago
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 1:56:33 PM
For orientation, that little red squib is Ninth and M.
Note that the southeast corner of Tenth and M is vacant. No Mount Vernon Plaza. No Whitman. The Royalton, where the Whitman stands now, had been gone for about 10 years. That empty lot is what Peter Sellers walks by in the 1978 movie Being There after having left 937 M Street. And yes, there were barrel fires there, as in the movie. An occasional dead body, too, sometimes from a drug overdose.
The Gas Station From Hell, as we all called it, was still at Eighth and M. There were still row houses on the 1200 block of Eighth Street. It seemed that every few months one of them had a fire call, either for a fire or a drug overdose.
The land between L and M, Seventh and Ninth was essentially open, and used as a parking lot for city employees. After a while, the city put up a chain link fence around parts of it to hold down the car breakins. The norhthwest corner of K and Seventh had trailers for the homeless shortly after this photo, which were removed only when the Convention Center construction started.