"Capitol Hill- A Historic Neighborhood" Capitol Hill Historic District Tip by machomikemd

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The hill, which in 1790 was called Jenkins Hill or Jenkins Heights, was the site chosen by Pierre L'Enfant for the placement of the "Congress House," a site which L'Enfant characterized as a "pedestal waiting for a superstructure." In accordance with this plan, the Capitol was situated upon the crest of the hill facing the city. Capitol Hill, aside from being the common nickname for the United States Congress, is the largest historic residential neighborhood in Washington, D.C., stretching easterly behind the U.S. Capitol along wide avenues. It is one of the oldest residential communities in Washington, and with roughly 35,000 people in just under two square miles, it is one of the densest neighborhoods in Washington.

Almost every street is composed of rowhouses of different stylistic varieties and periods forming a continuous wall broken only by street intersections. Side by side exist early 19th century manor houses, Federal townhouses, small frame dwellings, ornate Italianate bracketed houses and the late 19th century press brick rowhouses with their often whimsical decorative elements combining Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Eastlakian motifs. One of the more interesting houses is the Sewell-Belmont House, perhaps one of the oldest houses in the city and rebuilt after the War of 1812. Interspersed with the rowhouses are churches, which serve the community such as Christ Church and St. Mark.

Address: Virginia Ave., SE
Directions: Virginia Ave., SE.; S. Capitol, 2nd Street and F Sts., NE.; and 14th Sts., SE & NE. Metro stops: Union Station, E. Capitol, and Eastern Market.
Phone: (202) 543-0539
Website: http://www.chrs.org

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  • Written Aug 15, 2007
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