Aug
01

Neighborhood Narratives: Cleveland Park

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Cleveland Park is a residential neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of D.C. The first settler of what is now the neighborhood was George Washington’s aide-de-camp, General Uriah Forrest when he built the Rosedale estate in 1793. Now part of a public conservancy, the grounds and farmhouse are considered to be the oldest home in Washington.

The neighborhood came by its name after 1886 when President Cleveland purchased a stone farmhouse opposite Rosedale and remodeled it into a summer estate called Oak View. The subdivision of Oak View was platted and, about the same time, the subdivisions of Cleveland Heights and Cleveland Park. Early development was spurred by the upland topography that provided a breezy escape from the hot, humid air of the then built-up area of Washington, D.C. Because of this, the houses built during this period feature amenities of summer houses such as wide porches, overhanging eaves and large windows.

Development continued in bursts, hinged upon events such as the bankruptcy of the Cleveland park Co. in 1905 and the Great Depression of the 1930s. This resulted in houses of very different sizes, styles and nature being built next to one another. The success of the neighborhood even during difficult times is attributed to its being connect to downtown Washington via the Rock Creek Railway.

What draws people to Cleveland Park nowadays are features such as the National Zoo and the Art Deco styled Uptown Theatre as well as its unique restaurants and green, gently rolling hills. Cleveland Park is filled with parks, playgrounds and well-lit streets, making for a village feel and family-friendly environment.


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