Waverly: The Depression & WWII

During the Depression, Waverly suffered along with the rest of the country. Housing construction fell to levels not seen since the middle of the 19th century, and the federal government's Home Owner's Loan Corporation, which was established in the New Deal to refinance delinquent mortgages, was responsible for 7.5% of the properties in the neighborhood. Recognizing Waverly as an "at-risk" neighborhood that was in danger of falling victim to the "urban blight" to its south, the government actually began a unique program to work with the city to stabilize the area. Using a combination of investments in properties it controlled, zoning changes, and infrastructure improvements in the neighborhood, it worked to increase property values and keep the neighborhood attractive to owner-occupiers.

Greenmount Avenue and 32nd Street

The corner of Greenmount Avenue and 32nd Street, circa 1940. (From the collection of the Maryland Historical Society.)