DCFD, the West End and “Air Rights”

Washington’s West End is tucked in between Foggy Bottom and the Dupont/Kalorama neighborhoods.

It also perches on the edge of the now fashionable Georgetown.

Early on the area was a modest Black neighborhood though many homeowners sold their properties there during the housing crunch created by the New Deal and Second World War.

Foggy Bottom, 1946

Foggy Bottom, 1946

Today the area is a mixture of apartment buildings, hotels and offices.

The DC Fire and Emergency Services is benefiting from the city’s extraordinary real estate boom as the population continues to inch upward as more and more people move back to avoid traffic and enjoy the life here.

For decades the West End has been under the protection of Engine 1 and Truck 2 operating out of an increasingly decrepit building at 23rd and M, NW.

Old Quarters, E1, T2

Old Quarters, E1, T2

The price of land now means that the air space overhead, when zoning allows, is quite valuable.

Developers have won approval for a plan to demolish the existing structure and create a residential mid-rise that will include a new fire/rescue station.

And, just across the way the current police station and library will be knocked down for a similar arrangement.


Meanwhile, E1 and T2 have moved to new and temporary quarters a few blocks southeast at 21st and L, NW.

DC is on the move.

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