ALLEY HOPPIN! Putting People Back in DC’s Alleys

Courtesy of EL Studio, PLLC

Did you know that Washington, DC has 3,217 alleys which, when unraveled, total 246 linear miles?  There are 82,397 single-family residential properties with alley frontage in the District.  If each of those properties added alley housing / accessory apartments with an average of 2.28 persons per household, that could be space for 187,900 new residents!

Born of urban pressures in the 19th century, the city’s alleys were later neglected, yet they can be reinvigorated for the 21st century. Through research, analysis, public engagements and physical interventions, the Washington Alley Project examines the city’s informal alley network as a viable site for new modes of urban living, creating opportunities to adapt to the social and technological pressures of the present and future without sacrificing architectural heritage.

Created by EL Studio, this award-winning, ongoing research and public space advocacy initiative has comprised of three phases: Research - mapping the physical evolution of the alleys and establishing an agenda for future development; Outreach - public engagement, creation of awareness and the identification of program; and Advocacy – connecting with stakeholders and the development of design proposals for new built interventions.

This exhibition will share the studio’s process through displays and interactive activities that prompt visitors to engage with the topics, insuring that as Washington, D.C. continues to develop, the unique alley network of public space will not go underutilized.

Organized by EL Studio, PLLC in cooperation with AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery.


Project Partners:
American University Game Lab
Bell Visuals
Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation

DC Department of Transportation
DC Preservation League
DC Office of Planning
Ferris Custom Cabinetry
Mount Vernon Triangle CID

Today at Apple

Tarpon Construction

Alliance Builders

Mount Vernon Triangle CID

Added Dimensions
Comfort Engineering
CS Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Ditto Residential
JLC Engineering LLC
Lighting Environments
Linton Engineering
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald N. Slimp II
Think Make Build, LLC