Category: Local News

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Palisades, or The Palisades, is a neighborhood that runs along the Potomac River, from the edge of the Georgetown University campus at Foxhall Road to the D.C.-Maryland border near the Delacarlia Treatment Plant. The main thoroughfare through the neighborhood is MacArthur Boulevard.

Palisades was first subdivided in 1893, following the plans of the Palisades Improvement Company. Servicing the area was the Great Falls Electric Railway, running from 36th and Prospect to Glen Echo. In 1896, the International Athletic Park and Amusement Company constructed a Bicycle Track and General Amusement Park on a large block of the neighborhood. In 1909, the Potomac Heights Land Company acquired the amusement park land at a reported cost of $1000 per acre. This land was divided into 800 lots, each costing about $500 with instructions that no home could be erected for less than $2500.

Today, Palisades is one of the lesser-known neighborhoods of Washington. Its housing is a mixture of detached houses, apartments, and townhouses. Homes along the bluff on Potomac Avenue are graced by a broad view of the Potomac River and the Virginia riverfront, and are often treated to spectacular sunset views. This neighborhood also boasts being home to a variety of popular restaurants with a vast array of cuisine from clam bar to Asian fusion.


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  1. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 483 sq ft
     
  2. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 558 sq ft
     
  3. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
    Home size: 3,800 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,403 sqft
     
  4. 5 beds, 4 full, 1 part baths
    Home size: 5,046 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,129 sqft
     
  5. 0 beds, 1 full bath
     
  6. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 650 sq ft
     
  7. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 650 sq ft
     
  8. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 650 sq ft
     
  9. 5 beds, 5 full, 1 part baths
    Lot size: 8,850 sqft
     
  10. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 650 sq ft
     

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(all data current as of 9/7/2015)

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Anacostia, a name derived from the area’s early life as Nacochtank, a Native American settlement, has a long and rich history. The core of what is now the historic district was incorporated in 1854 as Uniontown and was one of the first suburbs in DC. At the time of the initial subdivision, anyone of African or Irish descent was prohibited from inhabiting the area via restrictive covenants. Because of this, In 1877, abolitionist Fredrick Douglass (the “sage of Anacostia”) bought Cedar Hill, an estate owned by the developer of Uniontown that sat just outside Anacostia. The site is still maintained today. Despite the initial restrictions, by 1888 fully fifteen percent of the inhabitants were African American. Designed to be available to Washington’s working class, many of whom were employed nearby at the Navy Yard on the Anacostia River, it was isolated from the city and therefore inexpensive. The neighborhood is relatively homogenous in its simple, standard homes, but the individually chosen details such as porches, roof lines, iron fencing and gable treatments are rich in character and variety. The frame houses are mostly Italianate and Cottage style, with Queen Anne examples and brick rowhouses interspersed. Once covered in marshy swamps, the area began to develop in the 1850s, saw a boom in military-fueled construction during the Civil War, grew again during the Great Migration of southern African Americans to the north, and once more during World War I with the addition of two military bases. Shopping, dining and entertainment facilities throughout greater Anacostia are somewhat limited, as development slowed due to a decrease in income in the area. Anacostia, however, since about 2005 has seen a resurgence in community interest with the focus on helping children and adults reach their full potential. Free summer evening jazz concerts are also given weekly in Fort Dupont Park — a park which had originally been a Civil War fortress. A large supermarket now services the area and an annual Martin Luther King Birthday Parade in April heightens the sense of community. After decades of neglect, Anacostia’s citizens are rallying to revitalize their neighborhood.

Clarendon, located between the Rosslyn and Ballston areas, was named after Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, a statesman and historian. The village of Clarendon was platted, named and dedicated in 1900. After the arrival of streetcars, the area became Arlington’s “downtown.” Over time, the area became known as a retail hub, including department stores such as J.C. Penney and Sears, as well as many smaller retailers.

In the mid-1970s, two Vietnamese grocery stores opened, followed by restaurants, shops, and a large Vietnamese community, thus giving Claredon the nickname, “Little Saigon.” Most of the shops have been closed, but the name remains familiar.

Today, Clarendon is well known for its unique mix of eclectic shops, popular bars, and small restaurants. Gentrification of the area has allowed for more development of mixed residential and commercial projects including luxury apartments, office buildings and upscale chain stores.

 

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Silver Spring, an unincorporated area in Montgomery County, MD, is the fourth most populous place in the state. Silver Spring’s namesake was a mica-flecked spring, reputedly located in what is now Acorn Park, discovered in 1840 by Frances Preston Blair, the organizer of what is now the modern American Republican Party.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the town of Silver Spring had become large, well established, and important. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s Metropolitan Branch ran through the area, and the first suburban development began in 1887 as a divided farm on today’s Colesville and Brookeville Roads. Due to targeted developing of the area, by the 1950s, Silver Spring had become the second busiest retail market between Baltimore and Richmond. In 1960, a shopping center several miles north of downtown opened, diverting retail traffic away from downtown Silver Spring. Thus began a period of decline, lasting several decades.

Redevelopment starting at the beginning of the 21st century finally began to produce positive results for the area. Several city blocks were completely reconstructed to allow for an outdoor shopping plaza, Downtown Silver Spring, with national retail chains, a massive movie theater, and many restaurants reflecting the area’s ethnic diversity. Silver Spring’s renaissance has continued into the present, thanks to private investment and active public involvement, and is transforming the area into an arts and entertainment center.


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Chevy Chase, D.C., not to be confused with Chevy Chase, MD with whom it shares a border, began in the 1880s when Senator Newlands of Nevada and his partners began to aggressively acquire farmland for the purpose of developing a residential streetcar suburb. The eventual holdings of the company are now known as this neighborhood as well as Chevy Chase, Maryland. The neighborhood was developed in the early 1900s after construction of the Chevy Chase Line, a streetcar line that stretches to and beyond the northwest boundary of the District of Columbia. This line connects the neighborhood directly to the D.C. downtown.

The formerly remote area grew over decades into a neighborhood of middle-class housing, the stock of which includes many Sears Catalog Homes. Unlike many urban neighborhoods, Chevy Chase has kept its small, generally locally owned businesses along Connecticut Avenue and they remain well patronized by the locals. These businesses include Magruder’s Supermarket (est. 1875) and the Avalon Theatre, which opened in 1923 and currently runs as a non-profit movie theater. In addition to its historic commercial buildings, the area has several well established parks including Rock Creek Park, Lafayette Park and Livingston Park.

Chevy Chase, known as the suburb in the city, has a reputation for a strong community connection, gorgeous houses and beautiful lawns. Its commercial area is large enough to make it feel relatively self-sufficient. The vast majority of residential options are single-family homes that are relatively large, and nearly all of them are fronted by well-groomed gardens and lawns of varying sizes. Bungalows, four squares, the odd Victorian, colonials, Tudors and Cape Cods lend to the grand variety of architecture throughout the neighborhood.

Chevy Chase is a pleasant, architecturally rich neighborhood where Washingtonians find peace and community while still remaining in touch with the rest of the city.

American University Park (AU Park) is named for the American University situated near, but not actually in, the neighborhood. AU Park is on the border of Maryland with its roughly diamond shaped boundaries defined by Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Western Avenues.

Developed in the 1920s by the WC and AN Miller Company, this neighborhood consists almost entirely of single-family homes, about three quarters of which are Colonial style. Homes are closely spaced, feature porches or stoops and often do not have driveways, thus lending to the cozier community spirit.

AU Park boasts some of the best public schools in DC as well as a peaceful, low-key atmosphere that is ideal for families. Activities and community are centered around Friendship Park, often called Turtle Park because of its five distinctive statues of the gentle aquatic animals. It is very residential save for a short span of restaurants and shops along Wisconsin Avenue.

Massachusetts Heights, a small neighborhood in Northwest Washington, D.C., is predominantly occupied by Washington National Cathedral, its grounds, and its associated properties, including St. Albans School. A very small, triangular area contains the only residential section, adjacent to Observatory Circle and the Vice President’s Residence.

Notably, Observatory Circle is the grounds of the US Naval Observatory as well as the official residence of the vice president at Number One Observatory Circle. The USNO is one of the oldest scientific agencies in the United States, producing data for the US Navy and Department of Defense.

Takoma Park, in Montgomery County, Maryland, is a suburb of Washington, D.C. and part of the Washington metropolitan area. Founded in 1883 by Benjamin Franklin Gilbert, Takoma Park was one of the first planned commuter suburbs. By 1889, there were 235 homes and in 1890, the town was incorporated.

Early history of the area begins with a legend. Chief Pohatan, father of Pocahontas, is said to have stopped here to convalesce at the healthful springs after a battle north of Virginia. The area was predominantly farmland, with roads criss-crossing the landscape, until developers under the name of Williams and Carrolls invested the money to build mills, create buying stations, and process native lumber as fuel. One of these investments was a large tract of land bordering Sligo Creek, purchased to build a mill, that would become Takoma Park.

Takoma Park’s modern history is one of activism and progressive thinking. The population is diverse and vocal, with a reputation for getting civically involved on a wide variety of issues. The community is also known for its variety of cultural events, from the Takoma Park Folk Festival to the counterculture Takoma Park Street Festival. Art and entertainment are a focus of the neighborhood as well, with a theater at either end of the area, the takoma Jazz Fest, the Takoma Park Independent Film Festival, and blues label Takoma Records.

Takoma Park, like many other neighborhoods in the Washington, D.C. area, has been the target of gentrification in recent years. Previously adapted single-family homes, changed to be conducive to multi-family dwelling, have been converted back into their original states. Approximately one third of the community are families with children and the neighborhood in general is changing from older to younger. With its well-defended, dignified old hardwood trees, hilly terrain and vibrant community, Takoma Park has both dignity and excitement.

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The Columbia Heights neighborhood, which was started in 1815 as a purchase of 121 acres of the Pleasant Plains estate, began to develop as a suburb of Washington soon after the Civil War. The northern portion of modern Columbia Heights was, until the 1880s, part of the village of Mount Pleasant. Named for Columbian College, now The George Washington University (which moved its major operations to Foggy Bottom by 1912), Columbia Heights was targeted for upscale development circa 1900 and designed to attract upper level Federal government workers, Supreme Court justices and high-ranking military officers. At that time, Columbia Heights was the chosen area for some of Washington’s most influential people.

By 1914, four streetcar lines provided transportation to downtown Washington in twenty minutes. The popularity of the neighborhood allowed for the construction of several large apartment buildings, changing the character of the area from suburban to more urban and densely populated. The neighborhood retained its upscale appeal through the 1960s, until the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. Much of the 14th Street Corridor was ravaged, resulting in many homes and shops remaining vacant for decades.

In 1999, the city announced an initiative for the revitalization of the neighborhood that focused around the newly opened Columbia Heights Metro station. It served as a catalyst for the return of residents and economic development and within five years, considerable gentrification had occurred. Unlike some gentrified neighborhoods, Columbia Heights retained its phenomenal diversity. To many, this diversity is the heart of Columbia Heights’ community.

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Adams Morgan, centered at the intersection of 18th Street and Columbia Road, is a culturally diverse area with a lively nightlife. Considered to be the center of Washington’s Hispanic immigrant community, the area is bustling with youth, Latin-infused lounges, salsa fans, quirky boutiques and global cuisine.

Much of the neighborhood is made up of 19th and early 20th century row houses and apartment buildings in delightful colors. The commercial district is along 18th Street in particular and has a great reputation for evening entertainment with its restaurants, nightclubs, bars, galleries, coffee houses and bookstores. The area is particularly popular with young professionals.

The name “Adams Morgan” comes from the mid 1950’s, when a concerted effort was made to improve the area by embracing all races and cultures. Previous to 1956, Adams had been the name of the area’s neighborhood school for white children while Morgan was the school for black children. At the time, the general area was suffering from neglect and division. Thanks to a devoted citizen group, the Adams-Morgan Better Neighborhood Conference, the district began to recover from its decline in the fall of 1956 and has since grown into the vibrant, multi-cultural neighborhood it is now.

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