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Patrick Moynihan and Richard Nixon Touring the Redevelopment Area of Pennsylvania Avenue. 1970

Patrick Moynihan and Richard Nixon Touring the Redevelopment Area of Pennsylvania Avenue. 1970,

Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), a politician and sociologist, spent twenty-four years in the Senate under four presidents working to revitalize downtown Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue. The story goes that the long road to recovery began during John F. Kennedy’s inaugural ride in 1961. Kennedy inspected the decaying north side of the avenue with disdain. “It’s a disgrace,” he barked “Fix it!” The task fell to Moynihan, who was then a young assistant to the secretary of labor. With characteristic confidence, Moynihan squeezed the first redevelopment plan into a report on the Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space, laying out the guiding principles of revitalization for the avenue and downtown. Plans continued under the auspices of various committees during the 1960’s and 1970’s before coming to full fruition under the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation.

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Taken on September 23, 2010