WHEN THE DISTRICT QUASI-LEGALLY SEIZED & DEMOLISHED AN ENTIRE QUADRANT OF THE CITY, BECAUSE…REASONS?

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Max Morris owned Frank’s Department Store at 712 Fourth Street SW, as well as the hardware store next door.  It was a few years after World War II; the economy was humming along, and the neighborhood was bustling.  So Morris was understandably puzzled when the government decided to use the then-untested law of “eminent domain” to take both of his properties, tear them down, and give them to a private developer for “redevelopment.”  Morris sued, lost, and appealed to the Supreme Court.  (When Morris died, his stepson, Samuel Berman, took up the case.)  Eventually, the Supreme Court upheld the city’s right to seize the two stores, a decision that, in just a few years, led to 99% of the buildings in Southwest being razed to the ground. WHEN THE DISTRICT QUASI-LEGALLY SEIZED & DEMOLISHED AN ENTIRE QUADRANT OF THE CITY, BECAUSE…REASONS?