Via DC Metrocentric, this is the intersection of Virginia Avenue and 8th Street SE, in 1928 and in 2007. When mid-century planners tore apart cities to enable large volumes of cars from the suburbs, neighborhoods like this one disappeared forever. DC’s original plan for freeways would have destroyed more of what are now considered beautiful and historic; this one, though, lasts only in the occasional picture, a grainy black-and-white window into what could have been.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.