Welcome to Our Global Neighborhood
In the early 20th century the two miles of Massachusetts Avenue west from Dupont Circle was a Grand Avenue of park-like views and sidewalk allées lined with shade trees. Owners entertained lavishly in their palatial homes, making the street a magnet for the capital’s social and political life.
But by the late 20th century, this streetscape was badly shorn of trees; the street was hot and uncomfortable, even as thousands more vehicles and pedestrians traveled along it.
Fortunately, most of Mass Ave’s historic mansions west from Dupont Circle had been saved. Many were acquired by foreign governments, creating an Embassy Row.
To reverse damage to this important street landscape, concerned neighbors and embassy workers started the non-profit Restore Mass Ave to “re-green” Embassy Row.
“Greening” is a work in progress.
We’ve accomplished a lot in 10 years, but Embassy Row still has “heat islands,” dying giant trees and landscape hurt by thoughtless development. But each year more foreign embassies, government bodies, landscapers and residents assist in this long-term project. Environmental activism at this hyper-local level builds community and hope.
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