14th Street (Washington, D.C.)

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The renovated Tivoli Theatre in Columbia Heights at the intersection with Park Road NW is part of 14th Street's recent economic development.

14th Street NW/SW is a street in Northwest and Southwest quadrants of Washington, D.C., located 1.25 miles (2.01 km) west of the U.S. Capitol. It runs from the 14th Street Bridge north to Eastern Avenue.

Northbound U.S. Route 1 runs along 14th Street from the bridge to Constitution Avenue, where it turns east with US 50. US 1 southbound previously used 15th Street NW due to the ban on left turns from westbound Constitution Avenue to 14th Street, but it now uses the Ninth Street Tunnel, five blocks to the east. 14th Street crosses the National Mall and runs near the White House and through the western side of Washington's Logan Circle neighborhood.

Because it connects to one of the main bridges crossing the Potomac River into Virginia, 14th Street has always been a major transportation corridor. It was the location of one of the first streetcar lines, and today it is the location of several afternoon carpooling "slug lines", which allow commuters to meet the high-occupancy vehicle requirements of the Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway.


The corner of 14th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue in 1942
Greater Fourteenth Street Historic District
Location Roughly bounded by S, 12th, N and 15th Sts., NW.
NRHP Reference # 94000992
Added to NRHP November 9, 1994

In the middle of the 20th century, 14th Street NW near the intersection of P Street was home to many car dealerships and was known as "auto row".[1] The Casino Royale at 14th and H Streets was one of the city's most popular nightclubs. The street was the location of race riots in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.[2]

In the 1980s, a portion of 14th Street became known primarily for its red-light district. Many strip clubs and massage parlors were concentrated roughly between New York Avenue and K Street, while prostitutes plied their trade around Logan Circle. However, rising land values eventually pushed out the adult businesses. The Source Theatre, founded by Bart Whiteman, was given some credit for the area's revival. Whiteman stood outside the theater to escort people inside in order to make them feel safer.[3]

With the gentrification of the neighborhoods through which it passes – particularly downtown, Logan Circle, the U Street Corridor, and Columbia Heights – 14th Street is now known for live theater, art galleries, and trendy restaurants. Moreover, while the nominal center of the city's gay life is still Dupont Circle, the Washington Blade called 14th Street between U Street and Massachusetts Avenue (Thomas Circle) the best place to see and be seen.[4]


Transit service[edit]

The Decatur Street Car Barn at 4615 14th St. NW, built in 1906 by the Capital Traction Company. It is now the Metrobus Northern Division garage.

Fourteenth Street has been a major transit route ever since the Capital Traction Company streetcar line was built around the turn of the 20th century. The successor to that line is the Metrobus 14th Street Line—routes 52, 53, and 54.


There are two Metrorail stations on 14th Street:


Looking south on 14th Street NW from Belmont St.

The following Metrobus routes travel along the street (listed from south to north):

  • 11Y (Eye St. NW to the 14th Street Bridge)
  • 13A, 13B, 13F, 13G (Independence Ave. to the 14th Street Bridge)
  • 52 (Aspen St. to Independence Ave.)
  • 53 (Aspen St. to Pennsylvania Ave.)
  • 54 (Aspen St. to F St. NW)
  • E2, E3, E4 (Military Rd. to Kennedy St.)

DC Circulator[edit]

The DC Circulator's Woodley ParkAdams MorganMcPherson Square Metro bus line travels along 14th Street between Columbia Heights and downtown. Service operates at 10 minute intervals from 7:00AM – 12:00AM Sunday through Thursday and 7:00AM – 3:30AM Friday and Saturday.[5]


  1. ^ Wilgoren, Debbi (December 20, 2004). "From Showrooms to Showplaces". Washington Post. p. B01. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Linskey, Annie (April 1, 2004). "D.C.'s 14th Street, once shunned, is the new hot spot". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 25 August 2005. 
  3. ^ Lamb, Yvonne Shinhoster (March 24, 2006). "Source Theatre Founder Bart Whiteman". Washington Post. p. B06. Retrieved 9 August 2006. 
  4. ^ Best of Gay DC: Community, The Washington Blade, October 7, 2005
  5. ^ "DC Circulator". DC Circulator. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 

Coordinates: 38°53′22.4″N 77°1′55″W / 38.889556°N 77.03194°W / 38.889556; -77.03194