Friday, October 27, 2006

The Total Lack of Media Coverage of this Church-Mall conflict

This blogger can’t find a single mass media news report of anything regarding a possible opposition by Roman Catholic Church officials to moving St. Vincent de Paul Church, nor a decision to accede to such a position.

All of the newspaper reports about the South Capitol Street re-development somehow get around even mentioning St. Vincent de Paul Church despite it being by far that corridor’s nicest building. Remarkably this includes both The Washington Post and The Washington Times.

This lack of media coverage differs from previous such instances of conflicts which the newspapers did report. I found these examples in my work as public internet historian of Washington, D.C.’s un-built highways as creator of the Takoma Park Highway Design Studio web site at

Two such examples involve different segments of I-95 through Washington, D.C.: its northernmost segment from the 1960 engineering study’s proposed route through Catholic Sisters College, and the downtown Center Leg’s routing north of K Street in the vicinity of New Jersey and New York Avenue, re-designed with a tunneled curve to the northwest to avoid the Bibleway Church.

1960 I-95 Northeast Freeway at Catholic Sisters

I-95 (I-395) curve to avoid Bibleway Church

Although I could easily see this reason for this curve, I found newspaper accounts of public pleas from named people at Bibleway Church confirming his, as I did with that regarding Catholic Sisters College. Both The Washington Post and The Washington Star (which ended publication in 1981, one year prior to the 1982 introduction of The Washington Times) did their expected jobs, unlike later with the non-reporting of the South Capitol Mall, its opposition and demise.

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