Then & Now: Powerful images show 1968 riot damage and rebuilt DC neighborhoods

This story is part of the WTOP series “DC Uprising: Voices from the 1968 Riots.” Each day this week, we’ll tell the stories of the upheaval and tumult 50 years ago through the eyes of those who experienced it.

WASHINGTON — The eruption of unrest in 1968 left scars on D.C. neighborhoods for years.

Many residents didn’t think some areas — marked by burned-out husks of buildings and boarded-up stores — would ever recover.

The following interactive photo gallery shows how the cityscape has transformed over the last 50 years.

The photos depicting damage from the 1968 riots are from the Darrell C. Crain Jr. photo collection and maintained by the D.C. Public Library. They are reposted here, with permission, alongside photos showing those areas in 2018 taken by WTOP photographer Dave Dildine.

The changes are startling, but what remains — the landmarks that endured — also tell a revealing story about the city.

Drag the slider left/right to see what DC neighborhoods looked like in 1968 and today.


More from the series, “DC Uprising: Voices from the 1968 Riots.”

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