The Answers Issue: What ever happened to Humphrey Plaza by the Martin Luther King Jr. Library?

What ever happened to Humphrey Plaza by the Martin Luther King Jr. Library?

Poor Hubert Humphrey. The history of the space meant to honor him—the 900 block of G Street NW—actually unfolded a lot like the liberal icon’s beloved Great Society. It opened, in 1978, amid great hope: By closing off a downtown street, the District was embracing the then-trendy idea that pedestrian plazas would improve communities. Alas, Humphrey Plaza quickly became a spot for panhandlers to hang out and lunch-hour strollers to avoid. In 1999, as the prevailing winds of urban design shifted, G Street was re-opened in the name of economic dynamism. Today, the thoroughfare helps ferry customers to dynamic spots like the nearby Chinatown Fuddruckers.

Back when Humphrey’s name was banished from the plaza, a local political hopeful told City Paper the next step was to find another plaza and rename it. That hasn’t happened.

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