Now that I have covered the layout (a diamond grid with four main sections – northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest) I can go on to talk about an actual neighborhood! A popular and beautiful neighborhood is Capitol Hill. Most of you will probably think of the area around the US Capitol as “Capitol Hill”, but in DC, it is more commonly used to describe the neighborhood east of the Capitol.
Pierre L’Enfant, the architect of the city, originally named the area Jenkins Hill or Jenkins Heights, and it is one of the oldest residential areas of the city. It became a distinct neighborhood in the early 1800s when the government was building the Capitol and the Navy Yard, and a little later the Marine Barracks, providing employment for a large number of people. A real estate boom took place between 1890 and 1910 as electricity, running water, and plumbing were installed in the area’s houses. Capitol Hill has been a Historic District since 1976, and is one of the largest ones in the US. Most of the buildings are late Victorian. As you walk towards the Capitol, the houses become grander and larger, while smaller, more modest townhouses line the streets further east. Join me for a walk from Potomac Avenue SE to Union Station!
I love the interesting roofs - I want to do a whole post on those one day!
Here's a cool one:
The wooden ones are old - after a fire in the early 1900s they were outlawed:
Some have columns:
Corner houses are usually big:
...and some have gorgeous gardens!