Benning Terrace

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Benning Terrace is a public housing project of 274 apartments and townhouses in southeast Washington, D.C. located east of the Anacostia River in the Benning Ridge neighborhood.[1] It was formerly known as "Simple City."

Housing Project[edit]

Built in 1958, Benning Terrace is a public housing project of townhouses and low-rise apartments. It consists of 274 units in three buildings in the area around G St SE and 46th St SE.[2] The complex also includes the Benning Terrace Community Center and a football field.[3]

Conflict and Intervention[edit]

Benning Terrace, also known as "Simple City," earned a reputation in the 1990s as the center of violent gang activity.[4] In 1997, after a rash of murders, the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE), along with the Alliance of Concerned Men and the District of Columbia Housing Authority Office of Public Safety, came together to bring gang warring to a halt.[5] Aggressive community intervention strategies followed; young gang members were provided with jobs and themselves became advocates for the community, coaching sports and activities to help keep the area's children and young people out of gangs.[6]

While the community efforts in Benning Terrace were hailed for their remarkable results over the first few years,[7][8] by the late 2000s violence resurfaced in the area.[9] Pledging support for the area, in 2008 newly elected D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty dedicated a new sports field and playground at the complex.[10] But in March 2011, 13 young men living in Benning Terrace were indicted for violent crimes.[11] Witnesses noted, "[they have] resumed old feuds that ... their uncles and older brothers once resolved.[12]

Notable Residents[edit]

Singer Marvin Gaye was born and raised in Simple City until age 14 when his family moved to northeast D.C.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "DC Housing Authority: Benning Terrace"
  2. ^ District of Columbia Housing Authority: Benning Terrace
  3. ^ "Football Offers Healing, Hope" Washington Post, April 10, 2008
  4. ^ "In D.C.'s Simple City, Complex Rules of Life and Death; A Bloodstained Community Reels From Crews' Violence" - Washington Post
  5. ^ Alliance of Concerned Men: History
  6. ^ "Memo to City: Benning Terrace Needs Help Now" - Washington Post
  7. ^ "Miracle at Benning Terrace" - Washington Times, April 4, 1997
  8. ^ "Cease-Fire in Simple City: The day gangs declared a truce in an urban war zone" - U.S. News and World Report
  9. ^ "Memo to City: Benning Terrace Needs Help Now"
  10. ^ "Mayor Fenty Dedicates New Playground and Athletic Field At Benning Terrace Housing Complex" - District of Columbia press release
  11. ^ "13 Benning Terrace gang members indicted," ABC7 News
  12. ^ "13 Benning Terrace gang members indicted," ABC7 News
  13. ^ Frankie Gaye and Fred E. Basten, Marvin Gaye, My Brother, 2003

Coordinates: 38°52′50″N 76°56′15″W / 38.88056°N 76.93750°W / 38.88056; -76.93750