Records of Downtown Progress, 1960-1977

Records of Downtown Progress, 1960-1977

Finding Aid

Collection No. 25 (22 Linear ft.)
D.C. Community Archives

*Note: Box 105 is currently undergoing digitization and is temporarily unavailable for research*

History

Downtown Progress, originally known as the National Capital Downtown Committee, was a nonprofit organization of businessmen formed to revitalize downtown from the Capitol to the White House. The downtown urban renewal area was bounded by 5th and 15th streets NW, and Pennsylvania Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains correspondence, meeting minutes, committee reports, memoranda, legal papers, and general office files of the organization. It also contains photographs, sketches, maps, architectural drawings, street diagrams, and slides of buildings and streetscapes located in the downtown urban renewal area.  

Processing Note

Refoldering is not complete; some items need to be removed from original file folders and placed in archivally safe folders. In addition, not all slides have been identified.

Series Descriptions 

Series I: Action Plan, 1 linear ft. (1961-1968)

This series provides background research, drafts, internal memoranda, sketches, meeting notes, and other materials regarding early planning that resulted in the Action Plan for Downtown Progress prepared in 1962. Most notably, it includes a discussion draft (not for publication) of the Plan, a joint report by The Washington Post and Star about the Plan, “Assumptions, Findings and Objectives” for the sketch plan, and the final version of the Plan.

The Action Plan was an official publication of the Potomac Valley Chapter, American Institute of Architects.  It also contains advisory committee meeting notes and membership lists as well as notes, street diagrams, maps, photographs, and sketches of squares in downtown. Folders are arranged chronologically followed by materials about the advisory committee and then maps and sketches.
The folders are arranged chronologically.

Series II: Board of Directors, 1.25 linear ft. (1960-1977)

The series contains correspondence, reports, internal memoranda, meeting minutes, agendas, testimony and other information used to prepare for the Board of Directors meetings. The folders are arranged chronologically.

Series III: Annual Membership and Board of Directors Meeting, 2.5 linear ft. (1960-1969)

The series contains materials regarding the annual membership and board of directors meeting. It includes Board of Directors meeting minutes, committee reports, statements issued at annual meetings, meeting agendas, photographs, correspondence, and internal memoranda gathered or prepared for the meeting. The folders are arranged chronologically.

Series IV: Annual Reports, .50 linear ft. (1971-1977)

The series contains work folders for Downtown Progress’ annual reports. The folders include the final annual report, “Memoranda of Contact,” internal memoranda, correspondence and notes. The folders are arranged chronologically.

Series V: Committee Files, 9.5 linear ft. (1964-1977)

This series contains standing and ad hoc committee files. Included are committee reports, meeting agendas and minutes, notes, correspondence, and internal memoranda regarding the committees’ work. Committees included in the series are:
  • budget review
  • development, environment, and preservation
  • executive
  • facilities
  • housing and relocation
  • legislative
  • nominating, planning, urban renewal, and relocation
  • transportation and services
  • zoning and codes.
The folders are arranged alphabetically by name of committee with general files first.

Series VI: General Office Files, 8.5 linear ft. (ca. 1960-1977)

This series consists of subject files maintained in Downtown Progress’ offices to track major projects and topics of interest. It includes correspondence, internal memoranda, forms to track telephone calls and meetings, reports, handwritten notes, maps, diagrams, testimony, and legislation. 

It covers a variety of topics affecting downtown development, including a rezoning study, historic landmark status, a proposed sports arena/convention and civic center, national visitors center at Union Station, transportation issues, Design and Feasibility studies, and the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation. It also contains background materials, public testimony and statements, reports, and internal memoranda/correspondence regarding HUD’s Neighborhood Development Programs for the District proposed by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) beginning in 1970s and  information about squares slated for development. Folders are arranged alphabetically by title.

Series VII:  Legal Documents, 1.75 linear ft. (1971-1977)

The series primarily contains pleadings in a case brought by Businessmen Against Second Year Action Plan (BASYAP) to stop proposed condemnation and redevelopment for certain sections of the downtown urban renewal area. The plaintiffs included 126 downtown businessmen affected by the Plan, who sued the Redevelopment Land Agency, Downtown Progress, NCPC, the City Government, and others in federal court to stop the Plan. It also contains pleadings regarding a case brought against WMATA for refusal to install a second elevator at the Gallery Place Metro stop in compliance with handicap access laws in the late 1970s.   

Series VIII:  Images, 5.25 linear ft. (ca. 1960-1970)

The series contains photographs, slides and sketches of buildings and street scenes in the Downtown Progress corridor.  It is further divided into subseries as follows:
  • Subseries 1: Photographs and Sketches, 1.5 cu. ft. (ca. 1960s). Contains photographs from the 1960s before development began in the downtown area, as well as a number of photographs of F Street stores and streetscapes. It also contains sketches of buildings, streets, and walkways proposed for the new downtown urban renewal area.
  • Subseries 2: Slides, 3.75 linear ft. (ca. 1960-1970s). Consists primarily of slides of buildings located within squares 213-491 and 514-631. They are arranged by address and square. It also contains some slides of F Street stores and streetscapes.

Box Inventory

Series I:  Action Plan

Box 1

  • “Development of Washington and Its Central City,” by Paul D. Spreiregen, 1960
  • “L’Enfant’s Plan for Washington,” by Paul D. Spreiregen, 1960
  • Assumptions, Findings and Objectives, 1960
  • Churches study, 1960
  • Background, 1960-61
  • Sketch Plan for Action Plan, 1961
  • A Report and Sketch Plan for Revitalization, 1961
  • Discussion draft, 1961
  • Discussion draft with annotations, 1961
  • Action Plan comments, 1961-1963

Box 2

  • Presentation Material at annual meeting, 1961
  • Statements re: studies, 1961
  • Publications, 1962
  • Studies by consultants, ca. 1962
  • Action Plan for Downtown, 1962
  • Newspapers (Post and Star) report on Plan, 1962
  • Correspondence, 1968
  • Advisory committee, 1960-61
  • -------, 1961-62

Box 3

  • Maps and sketches, 1962
  • Square diagrams (2 folders), ca. 1966
  • Urban renewal base map, n.d.

Series II: Board of Directors

Box 4

  • 1960-1969

Box 5

  • 1970-1971

Box 6

  • 1972-1974

Box 7

  • 1961-1964

Series III:  Annual and Board of Directors Meetings

Box 8

  • 1961-1965

Box 9

  • 1966-1968

Box 10

  • 1969-1973

Box 11

  • 1971-1973

Box 12

  • 1974-1975

Box 13

  • 1975-1977

Series IV:  Annual Reports

Box 14

  • General correspondence, 1971-1972
  • Budget and Review, 1964-1977

Series V: Committee Files

Box 15

  • General correspondence, 1971-1972
  • Budget and Review, 1964-1977

Box 16

  • Development, environment, preservation, 1963-1977

Box 17

  • Executive, 1960

Box 18

  • Executive, 1961-1962

Box 19

  • Executive, 1963-1964

Box 20

  • Executive, 1965-1966

Box 21

  • Executive, 1967

Box 22

  • Executive, 1968

Box 23

  • Executive, 1970

Box 24

  • Executive, 1971

Box 25

  • Executive, 1972-1973

Box 26

  • Executive, 1974 Parts 1 & 2
  • Executive, 1975 Part 1

Box 27

  • Executive, 1974 Parts 1 & 2
  • Executive, 1975 Part 2
  • Executive, 1976

Box 28

  • Executive, 1977

Box 29

  • Facilities, 1960 -1977

Box 30

  • Housing and Relocation, 1963
  • Legislative, 1964-1971 (2 folders)
  • Nominating, 1971-1977 (7 folders)

Box 31

  • Planning and urban renewal, 1962-1969

Box 32

  • Planning and urban renewal, 1970-1977

Box 33

  • Transportation and services, 1962-1965

Box 34

  • Transportation and services, 1966-1968

Box 35

  • Transportation and services, 1970-1976

Box 36

  • Zoning and codes, 1962-1972

Box 37

  • Zoning and codes, 1973-1977
  • Mailing, 1963-1973

Series VI:  General Office Files  

Box 38

  • Assessed Valuation by blocks, 1960-65
  • Biographical data-R. Gray
  • Chinese Community, 1971-1977
  • Cleveland Park, n.d.
  • Developers, 1975-1977 (3 folders)
  • Development, 1973-1977 (2 folders)

Box 39

  • Design and Feasibility Study
    • General
    • Combined use office/retail (Squares 344/345), 1962-1963
    • Center leg freeway & air rights, 1964 (2 folders)
  • Development, 1970-1977 (2 folders)

Box 40

  • Development, 1972-1973
  • D.C. Development Bank, 1972-1974
  • Downtown Development Corporation, 1970-74
  • Downtown Design and Development Program, 1967-1971

Box 41

  • Downtown Design and Development Program, 1967-1975 (4 folders)
  • Downtown Feasibility Survey, Manufacturing/Wholesale study, 1967
  • Downtown report
  • Downtown structures
  • Dupont Circle, 76-24 summary table
  • Dupont Circle property owners
  • Employment studies, 1966-1967

Box 42

  • Employee Survey, 1960-1971

Box 43

  • Economic incentives task force, 1979
  • Federal Triangle, 1979
  • Fortune 500, 1972-1974
  • Format
  • Furniture stores
  • Historic landmarks, 1963-1964

Boxes 44

  • Historic landmarks, 1978
  • Historic landmark legislation, 1978
  • Historic Preservation, American Institute of Planners conference, 1979
  • Historic preservation
    • Newsclippings
    • Economic incentives

Box 45

  • Historic Preservation

Box 46

  • Home survey
  • James Creek-Buzzard Point
  • J-51
  • Lincoln Place

Box 47

  • Maps

Boxes 48

  • Maps
  • Mount Vernon Square East
  • NDP #3 (2 folders), 1973 

Box 49

  • Neighborhood Development Plan #3
  • Neighborhood Development Plan #4, 1970-74

Box 50

  • Neighborhood Development Plan #4, 1970-74

Box 51

  • Neighborhood Development Plan #5, 1974

Box 52

  • Neighborhood Development Plan, 1971-1977

Box 53-54

  • National Visitors Center, 1960-1978

Box 55

  • National Visitors Center
  • Nightlife study
  • Pedestrian survey
  • Pedestrians

Box 56-59

  • Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, 1974

Box 60

  • Performing Arts, 1962
  • Permit, 1975
  • Public and Private development draft, 1978
  • Radio and TV spots, 1974-1977

Box 61

  • Speeches and remarks
  • Sports Arena/Convention and Civic Center, 1963-1968

Boxes 62-66

  • Sports Arena/Convention and Civic Center, 1970-1977

Box 66

  • SA/CC, 1977-1978

Box 67

  • Street vending. 1971-1974
  • Turner Construction Company EEO Plan, 1973
  • Transportation and highways, 1970-71

Box 68

  • Transportation
  • Union Station
  • Visitors Survey, 1960
  • YMCA site information, 1977-1978
  • Sports Arena/Convention Center

Box 69-72

  • Zoning, 1958-1979

Box 73

  • Square 214-250

Box 74

  • Squares 251-284

Box 75

  • Squares 285-321

Box 76

  • Squares 322-377

Box 77

  • Squares 379-429

Box 78

  • Squares 451-491

Box 79

  • Squares 514-562

Box 80

  • Squares 564-630

Series VII: Legal Documents

Box 81

  • Gallery Place suit
  • WMATA

Box 82

  • Businessmen Against Second Year Action Plan (BASYAP), 1970-1971
  • BASYAP NDP#3, 1969-1972

Box 83

  • BASYAP, 1970-1971

Box 84

  • BASYAP, 1976-1977

Series VIII: Images

Subseries 1: Photographs and Sketches    

Boxes 85-86

  • Photographs, 1960s

Box 87

  • Sketches, 1960s

Boxes 88

  • Photographs of F Street

Subseries 2: Slides

Box 89

  • Slides of F Street

Box 90

  • Squares 213-223

Box 91

  • Squares 224-253

Box 92

  • Squares 254-290

Box 93

  • Squares 291-346

Box 94

  • Squares 347-401

Box 95

  • Squares 402-428

Box 96

Squares 429-458

Box 97

  • Squares 459-491

Box 98

  • Squares 514-529

Box 99

  • Squares 530-631

Boxes 100-102

  • Unidentified slides

Boxes 103 (oversize)

  • Clippings
  • Bylaws folders

---


Guide originally drafted May 1991 by Leroy Graham
Revised February 2001 by Faye Haskins

DC Public Library, Special Collections
D.C. Community Archives
202-727-2272
archives.dcpl@dc.gov

Back to Special Collections Homepage