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Perestroika on the Anacostia D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams may have a reputation as king of the dependent clause, but a Saturday night talk featured as much blood-and-guts rhetoric as one of Knute Rockne’s. Taking up the gauntlet in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the National Building Museum, Williams held forth ferociously on the virtue of urban planning. In the midst of a survey of municipal design atrocities, he mentioned the Southeast Federal Center along the Anacostia River—a 55-acre industrial site that acts as a barrier between the city and its waterfront—and went so far as to invoke the Evil Empire. “Mr. Altman,” the mayor intoned to his director of planning, “tear down this wall.”

Reporting by Robin Bingham, Kevin Diaz, and Elissa Silverman.

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