Logan Circle DC Neighborhood Profile
Logan Circle DC is approximately eight blocks in size, a traffic circle and a neighborhood chock-full of architecture capable of generating serious real estate lust, along with enviable retail. Now one of the most desirable of northwest DC’s neighborhoods, Logan Circle has experienced a renaissance over the past decade and a half as the 14th Street Corridor metamorphosed into the DC destination for foodies, shopping and real estate. Logan Circle is the only large DC circle made up entirely of residential structures, many of which have historic and/or architectural significance.
The boundaries of Logan Circle are roughly S Street (north), Massachusetts Avenue (south), 9th Street (east) and 16th Street (west).
Here you’ll find a mix of architectural styles, including High Victorian. Richardsonian, Queen Anne, Italianate and neo-classic homes constructed in the late 1870’s to early 1900’s, Federals, what are commonly referred to as ‘Wardman-style’ row homes, Second Empire, a High Victorian Gothic church and Beaux-arts buildings such as The Iowa.
Logan Circle History
Dubbed ’13th Street Circle’ in Pierre L’Enfant’s original plan, then Iowa Circle, Logan Circle was once an enviable address for the prominent and powerful in Washington DC. Statesmen and wealthy businessmen built their homes there, among them Ulysses S Grant II.
The 14th Street Trolley was installed in the mid-1800’s, making the neighborhood more accessible, and DC Mayor Alexander Robey Shepherd added streets and elm trees in the late 1800’s to encourage further development in the area. But during the late 1800’s, the upper-middle class shifted towards Dupont Circle.
In the early 20th century, 14th Street NW became popular as a main shopping district and an auto showroom location, bringing more attention to the neighborhood. The “14th and U” neighborhood boasted a large African American community later known as Shaw, a portion of which included Logan Circle.
During the 1940’s and ’50’s, original Victorian homes and their carriage houses and servants’ quarters were subdivided into apartments, hostels, and rooming houses. That trend continues to some extent today, as evidenced by this recent article: How Many People Can Live in a Logan Circle Row House?
In 1968, the DC riots devastated the 14th Street commercial corridor. Logan Circle was largely untouched, but fell into a state of disrepair and neglect over the next two decades. The wealthy had long since departed, the 14th Street Corridor was host to extensive drug and prostitution activity and homelessness and many of the neighborhood’s mansions were now multi-family dwellings.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the Logan Circle and 14th Street neighborhoods began to revitalize, boosted by the influx of theaters, retail, art galleries and night clubs and bars. Whole Foods market came to P Street in late December of 2000, marking the beginning of a real estate boom in Logan Circle that continues today. Home values increased significant’y and are still rising as the 14th Street Corridor revitalization expands to Thomas Circle and Columbia Heights.
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