March, 2006

This project made possible in part by funding from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

After living in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C., for six years, I wanted to create a portrait of a community. The plan was to document life in Mount Pleasant, because I saw the neighborhood on the verge of a shift.

While the community is diverse, vibrant and independent, recent years have brought change to the area. Smaller businesses seem to have had trouble staying afloat and housing prices are forcing lower income families out of the area. Day laborers look for work just blocks from homes that sell for over $1 million. A new development in neighboring Columbia Heights will bring a Target and Linens 'n Things to the area, competing with independently-owned retailers in Mount Pleasant.

Change, of course, is inevitable – as perhaps it should be. And so I hope this project, these images, capture a portrait of the Mount Pleasant community as a place on the verge of change and struggling to retain its identity.

These photographs were shot from 2005 to 2006.

— Robert Walton