In the years preceding the Civil War, the area bordered by Pennsylvania Ave., 15th, and the "open sewer" of the Washington Canal was a slum characterized by rampant prostitution, muggings, and robberies. The population of this area increased during the Civil War as soldiers took advantage of Murder Bay's cheap alcohol and brothels. This area eventually came to be known as "Hooker's Division" or just "Division," and became a destination for former slaves. Reform movements in the late 1800s generally failed, but in 1928, the city leveled Murder Bay and began building Federal Triangle in its place.
Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. View original.
Murder Bay was made up of the area bordered by Pennsylvania Ave., 15th Street, 13th Street., and Constitution Ave. The area is now called Federal Triangle.