Housing Complex

Time to Drop the “Buzzard” From Buzzard Point?

Will this deserve a better name than Buzzard Point?

Will this deserve a better name than Buzzard Point?

Buzzard Point is buzzing. With the deal to bring a D.C. United stadium to the strip of land jutting into the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, the area currently occupied by such attractions as a Pepco station and a scrapyard is poised for a jolt of new development.

But as Buzzard Point transitions to a waterfront draw, there could be one thing holding it back: its name.

Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (who had the foresight to incorporate the neglected peninsula into his BID when he helped launch it six years ago), says it's worth considering a name change. In fact, he and his colleagues have already dropped the "Buzzard" from Buzzard Point.

"We've just called it The Point," he says.

Stevens says he's done some research into Buzzard Point's history and learned that it got its name because the waters of the Potomac and Anacostia swirled there, causing garbage to wash up that attracted scavengers. The U.S. Geological Survey appears to refer to the area as both Buzzard Point and Greenleaf Point. (The latter name might not be much better, given its association with the nearby dilapidated public housing complex known as Greenleaf.)

Stevens has some experience with rebranding: The Capitol Riverfront moniker is a new one—and some would say a forced and overly generic one—for the formerly troubled neighborhood, which is still better known as Navy Yard, or sometimes Near Southeast. Only time will tell if either Capitol Riverfront or The Point will stick in the long run.

Rendering via the Office of the City Administrator

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    No. No. No. Some guy from a BID doesn't get to rename entire parts of the city because it's advantageous for him financially.

    Buzzard Point for life.

    To hell with sterilized, focus-group tested, inoffensive blather.

  • monkeyrotica

    I'm confused. Is this WeSoCa or ESoWWat?

  • http://www.monumentalthreads.com JKC

    how about restoring some of the old-time ones, like Bloodfield?

  • http://www.adrauglis.com Art D.

    Really? NYC kept "Hell's Kitchen" after that area went from being a run-down series of flophouses and drug dens to being a hipster haven.

  • John K.

    If Grosse Pointe could harness a movie, so can Buzzard Point!

  • Disgusted in DC

    Carrollsburg Point?

  • Dno

    Buzzard Point is a cool name. So is Navy Yard. Embrace them both. I know the BID director thinks that complaints about neighborhood name changes are little more than nostalgia from old timers who will later acquiesce, as in NoMa, but the name's history, distinctiveness, and the ease with which it rolls off the tongue should all be considered. Capitol Riverfront fails all of those tests miserably. Carrollsburg Point would probably be the most historically appropriate for the soccer stadium area, but it's blander and less fluid than Buzzard Point.

  • Hillman

    Agree with IMGOPH. No no no. A thousand times no.

    Buzzard Point has character, and we all know where it is.

    The Point sounds like some idiotic McMansion suburb outside Cleveland.

    And it sounds fake and forced.

    You've got a well branded name. Why mess with it?

    As others have pointed out Hells Kitchen is a perfect example of how it's done well.

  • chris hauser

    this is too easy. BUZZPO.


  • Sam Marrero

    Buzzard Point forever.

  • http://imaginaryterrain.com David Ramos

    Buzzard Point is the eastern tip; Greenleaf point is to the west. They were separated by James Creek.

  • Mike not madden

    Stevens already got slapped down for trying to take Navy out of Navy Yard metro, I thought he had learned his lesson. Maybe he can call the virginia avenue tunnel the yards connector.

  • NIMBY4Life

    I dont think there is a good definition of hipster,,,but reading it again...is starting to mean young, childless, snob to me. yuck, also,,keep the historic neighborhood names, so we never forget how crapy things used to be before the great hipster migration.

  • Taxnerd

    Agree they should keep the name, but New York actually did try the same thing with Hell's Kitchen--real estate agents renamed it "Clinton". Hasn't stuck so far.

  • SW,DC

    I read a comment a while back where someone mentioned renaming Buzzard Point - Pearl Point in reference to the largest recorded escape attempted by slaves in United States history - which took place in DC. That would be pretty cool, and clearly sounds better than Buzzard Point. But I don't mind Buzzard Point either.

  • george

    Heck, just call it tomorrowland or maybe just the Magic Point

  • DCTransplant

    Dear Michael Stevens, You're an idiot. BUZZ OFF.

  • Jasper

    Please bring back the Swampoodle name, too!

  • http://westnorth.com PCC

    Names, like all language, are ultimately social constructs, but CRBID won't win this: "the Point" is even more meaningless than "Capitol Riverfront." If the area needs a name better befitting burghers, it's had one for over 200 years: Carrollsburg was, along with Hamburg, one of the platted but unsettled towns that predated the founding of the city of Washington (ancient map).

    Also, get used to it, folks: Swampoodle may have had a cute name, but it's a lost cause. Might as well insist on calling DCA airport "Abingdon." Even once the air rights above the Union Station tracks get developed, it would be truly strange to call something set atop a high platform "swampy."

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  • newhce

    If he could go back in time, I'd bet he would rename Foggy Bottom to Federal Riverfront.