Chet Smolski, Rhode Island College


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Fall 11-1971


L’Enfant Plaza in Washington D.C. is a complex of several commercial and government buidlings. “La Promenade” shopping mall is also a part of the plaza. Named for Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the man responsible for the design and plan of Washington D.C., the plaza was a part of a project to renew the area that began after World War II.

Unfortunately, the proposed site for the plaza was an older, poor and middle-class neighborhood of Victorian row houses. The project drove families, primarily African American, out of their homes under use of eminent domain. The housing and structures in the neighborhood were demolished and replaced by L’Enfant complex.



This object from the Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates are the intellectual property of Rhode Island College. This digital object is protected by copyright and/or related rights. The digital material presented here is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This content can be used, shared, or adapted for educational and scholarly purposes. For permissions to use this item please contact All uses must include appropriate attribution.

Creator 1 Role


Recommended Citation

Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, MSS-0041, Special Collections, James P. Adams Library, Rhode Island College.


urban renewal; gentrification; urban beautification; row houses; demolition; L’Enfant Plaza; Washington D.C.;