Well, you know I went to the DC Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation last Monday. When I wasn’t chatting up folks, I was tickled about scoring a Partners in Preservation T-shirt and eyeing the food. There was a display in the Great Hall about one of the winners: the O & P Street rehab project. Here I am holding a piece of the running rail and it was heavy!
Once over 100 miles long, these tracks are the last remnants of DC’s streetcar system which ran from 1862 to the 1960s. The DC DOT restored the cobblestones and repaired and reinstalled the original streetcar rails–the combo having been the bane of many a car driver in Georgetown, me included. (Personally, I found that if I balanced my car wheels on them it wasn’t that bad. It was like action and adventure and a touch of hell on the tires!) Having just taken Urban History, I had been learning a lot about streetcars and how they affected the development of cities and their suburbs.
You can see more photos of the project when it was in action here!