Anacostia Historic District

Bounded by Martin Luther King Jr., Avenue to the west, Good Hope Road to the north, Fendall Street and the rear of Frederick Douglass Home to the east, and Bangor Street and Morris Road to the south

In progress

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The Anacostia Historic District contains 550 buildings constructed between 1854 and 1930. It encompasses the area originally known as Uniontown, one of Washington’s earliest suburbs, which was incorporated in 1854. Because of its location across the Anacostia River, land was less expensive and allowed members of Washington’s working class to purchase property and build homes. Most existing buildings are residences dating from between 1870 and 1930, including frame structures with Italianate detailing and brick row houses, as well as commercial buildings located along Anacostia’s main thoroughfares. These buildings comprise one of Washington’s richest collections of small scale working class housing. The Anacostia Historic District also includes Cedar Hill, the home of Frederick Douglass from 1877-1895, designated a National Historic Site in 1964. New development proposed for city-owned lots and the nearby waterfront is inconsistent with the historic nature of the area. The Anacostia Historic District represents the plight of working class African American urban neighborhoods in the District – communities where economic revitalization is long in coming. Despite the presence of the National Park Service’s Frederick Douglass Home and the nearby Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Museum, the deteriorating buildings and blighted landscape stand as unfortunate witness to decades of disinvestment. There are a number of vacant lots and many buildings are in serious need of rehabilitation due to owners’ neglect and lack of financial resources. The DC Preservation League supports the activities of the local community groups that are working to enhance Anacostia’s economic development.

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