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 the late 20th century saw drastic changes to this and other great American streets. Its landscape became badly shorn of trees; the street was hot and uncomfortable for local residents, workers and the growing ranks of commuters.
Fortunately, most of Mass Ave’s historic mansions west from Dupont Circle were saved. Many were acquired by foreign governments, creating an Embassy Row.
So to reverse damage to this important street landscape, some concerned neighbors and embassy workers in 2006 started Restore Mass Ave, to “re-green” Embassy Row.
“Greening” is a work in progress.
We’ve accomplished a lot (see box) but Embassy Row still has heat islands, dying giant trees and other problems. The continuous, park-like views of the historic Grand Avenue are hard to discern, let alone enjoy.
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