washington dc

District Wharf: DC's Newest Entertainment District

The Maine Avenue Fish Market has been operating in some form since 1805. That makes it the longest continually operating open air fish market in the United States. For 200 years, this waterfront market in DC's Southwest quadrant has been a main feature of Washington Channel, just off of the Potomac River. The fish market was one of the defining river features for 19th century Washington along with Washington Navy Yard on the Anacostia, and the port at Georgetown on the Potomac.

The municipal market has seen plenty of changes over the years, but the latest change is the most significant. The market's surrounding area is being transformed into Washington, DC's newest entertainment district, aptly called "The District Wharf."

Existing vendors at the Maine Avenue Market will remain and will be joined by a few new businesses.

Existing vendors at the Maine Avenue Market will remain and will be joined by a few new businesses.

The Wharf is a mixed-use development with commercial, residential, and industrial uses, with some open/public space. It consists largely of new construction, but incorporates existing structures including the Maine Avenue market. New office buildings and residential towers abut a pedestrian promenade and the Washington Channel with slips for hundreds of boats. Phase I of the project opened in October 2017.

Some highlights for visitors to DC include a 6,000 capacity music venue, a dock for water taxis to Georgetown and Alexandria, several hotels, waterfront restaurants from casual to fine, a public fire pit, walkable piers into the Washington Channel, shops (clothing, books, furniture, more), and water sporting activities such as kayaking. The area is sure to adapt and evolve over time, but the mix of a historic base and new mixed-use density instantly make The Wharf a great option for visitors and are residents alike.

Ask about adding a stop at the Wharf as part of our day-long, private Discover DC van tours. If your DC accommodations are at the Wharf we're also happy to start a walking or van tour direct from your hotel. We'll come to you. Call to learn more 202-681-0046.

The District Wharf development features a mix of entertainment venues, restaurants, retail shops, office space, apartments, and food markets.

The District Wharf development features a mix of entertainment venues, restaurants, retail shops, office space, apartments, and food markets.

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Seating for diners located between the pedestrian walkway and Washington Channel.

Seating for diners located between the pedestrian walkway and Washington Channel.

Life-sized board games at the water taxi landing.

Life-sized board games at the water taxi landing.

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Anthem is a 6,000 capacity music venue from the owners of DCs famed 9:30 Club.

Anthem is a 6,000 capacity music venue from the owners of DCs famed 9:30 Club.

The Wharf is located at 1100 Maine Ave SW. It is accessible from L'Enfant Plaza or Waterfront Metro stations and has stations for Capital Bikeshare nearby. There is also a free shuttle bus that circulates from the development to the National Mall, to L'Enfant Plaza station, and back to the development. 

Read more:
District Wharf (official site)
Destination Wharf (five part news series)
Evolution of Washington DC's Southwest Waterfront (Destination DC)
The Problem With 'Fast-Casual Architecture' (architectural review)

Raymond Kaskey's American Storyboard

One of the most compelling elements of the National World War II Memorial is a series of bas-relief panels lining the north and south sides of the Memorial near 17th Street NW. DC-based sculptor Raymond Kaskey created the panels (and all other bronze sculptural elements in the memorial).

The 24 panels illustrate how World War II permeated every aspect of American life from the battlefields to living rooms, farms, and factories. They run in chronological order from east to west and are divided into the themes of Pacific front and Atlantic front, including scenes from life in the United States during the war.

Mr. Kaskey was inspired by the 1,200 foot wrap-around bas-relief frieze on the National Building Museum and used World War II era photographs housed at the National Archives to inform artwork on the panels . Here are a few close ups of these amazing depictions: 

The Nation We Build Together

The National Museum of American History recently debuted the newly renovated second floor wing, titled The Nation We Build Together. The exhibitions within tell a nuanced story about how foundational American ideals have transformed over 300 years. The exhibitions are deep, artifact rich, and current. The interactive elements are excellent at testing your knowledge of government and political systems, while challenging you to examine your own views.

We can incorporate the best of these exhibitions into a Discover DC tour and pair the experience with site visits to Capitol Hill, the White House, or presidential memorials. Call us (202-681-0046) to schedule an exciting and educational tour.  We leverage the best of DC and help you maximize your time here in the city. Learn more and book here.

Meanwhile, get inspired by these photos from The Nation We Build Together!

Who gets to vote? How do we manage voting methods state to state and county to county? The exhibition  American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith  touches on these questions and more, while illustrating how important political agency is to shaping American society.

Who gets to vote? How do we manage voting methods state to state and county to county? The exhibition American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith touches on these questions and more, while illustrating how important political agency is to shaping American society.

When the United States of America began, only a small subset of land owning white men could vote. We've opened the door to more and more people over time, but the work isn't finished. The exhibition explores voting expansion over time on the federal, state, and local levels.

When the United States of America began, only a small subset of land owning white men could vote. We've opened the door to more and more people over time, but the work isn't finished. The exhibition explores voting expansion over time on the federal, state, and local levels.

Many Voices, One Nation  explores what it means it means to "be American," including how complex issues like immigration, assimilation, multiculturalism, and community intersect.

Many Voices, One Nation explores what it means it means to "be American," including how complex issues like immigration, assimilation, multiculturalism, and community intersect.

With no limited representation in the House and none in the Senate, residents of Washington, DC face a voting predicament unlike all other American citizens.

With no limited representation in the House and none in the Senate, residents of Washington, DC face a voting predicament unlike all other American citizens.

Campaign ephemera from recent elections and beyond.

Campaign ephemera from recent elections and beyond.

Petition and protest are American traditions, are protected by law, and come in many forms.

Petition and protest are American traditions, are protected by law, and come in many forms.

When "Reality" Hit Dupont Circle

"The Real World" cast inhabited this beautiful c. 1890s Dupont mansion for the 2009 edition of the MTV groundbreaking  reality show . Months of speculation surrounded the potential location of the group house. Many residents wondered which of DC's historic and lively neighborhoods would act as the setting for the show, and therefore the lens through which the audience expreienced the city.  Producers settled on this stately 10,000 square foot home near 20th and S Streets NW. The block is quiet enough to be a great residential location, but close to restaurants, retail, bus routes, and the Metro subway system. For better or worse, the show managed to capture the city's attention for the better part of a year despite achieving less than stellar television ratings nationwide.

"The Real World" cast inhabited this beautiful c. 1890s Dupont mansion for the 2009 edition of the MTV groundbreaking reality show. Months of speculation surrounded the potential location of the group house. Many residents wondered which of DC's historic and lively neighborhoods would act as the setting for the show, and therefore the lens through which the audience expreienced the city.

Producers settled on this stately 10,000 square foot home near 20th and S Streets NW. The block is quiet enough to be a great residential location, but close to restaurants, retail, bus routes, and the Metro subway system. For better or worse, the show managed to capture the city's attention for the better part of a year despite achieving less than stellar television ratings nationwide.