As recently as the early 2000s, H Street was a neighborhood in shambles. It had begun its decline during WWII and was severely damaged during the 1968 riots following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Building fronts were boarded up for decades.
H Street, one of Washington’s earliest and most significant commercial districts, is now a booming hot-spot for a night out in D.C. Favored by the bohemian crowd, H Street is home to the Atlas theater, clubs, burlesque shows, art studios, live music venues, restaurants and bars.
In the mid 2000s, based on a planning effort initiated by the District of Columbia Office of Planning, recovery began in earnest, including a 22 million dollar renovation of the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Organization of the neighborhood allowed for a three-district division: the Urban Living district, the Central Retail District, and the Arts and Entertainment district. It was the Arts and Entertainment district, located between 12th and 15th Streets NE, that rejuvenated the district as a popular night out spot.