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Bravo for the pieces by Michael Schaffer and Bradford McKee on the proposed convention center behind Mount Vernon Square (“When Pigs Fly,” “East Side Story,” 1/9). If this white elephant is built, the Washington Post will probably take notice five years from now and be shocked—shocked—at its crushing costs, its obsolescence, and its noxious impact on downtown. They can do the background research for it in Washington City Paper.

The valuable, cleared, and centrally located land at Mount Vernon Square would be a splendid site for housing and some shops—an anchor for the north end of that “living downtown” we have been saying we want.

A far better place for a convention center is on land at New York Avenue behind Union Station. Unlike Mount Vernon Square, it would be cheaper to build, be expandable, have parking, and not tear up downtown with tunnels and ramps. And it would bring jobs into the city for two large developments instead of just one. New York Avenue will almost certainly continue to languish unless a government agency constructs a major project to spur revitalization.

Dupont Circle

via the Internet