Terrific talk last night at the Martha Washington Library on Fort Hunt Road in Alexandria. Carol Bessette, a Certified Master Tour Guide in Washington who specializes in "Spies of Washington," talked about the impact WWII had on Washington. She sprinkled on anecdotal stories from her many years of experience, and presented over two dozen photographs.
Carol also allowed me to take and publish this photo of a 1948 map (A pocket map of Suburban Washington).
World War II created housing shortages and fueled the growth of the suburbs around Washington. This residential housing was obviously much needed but certain parts of Washington were hard hit in terms of not saving historical assets. One of the biggest craters was Route 1 between Alexandria and Groveton.
The Civil War forts – nary a trace.
Mount Eagle – no marker and you can’t even step on its site.
Spring Bank (incorrectly shown, correct spot listed as Fairview) – no marker (Walmart).
City View (not identified on the map, but it's the cluster to the right of Beacon Field).
As far as the oldest structure on the corridor now, I’m not certain. Adaptive re-use could be a course for the Chamber of Commerce building or the old Penn Daw Fire Department.
And that's the new fight, The War on Demolition. If we lose it, the tour guides will go elsewhere...