14th Street (Washington, D.C.)

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Looking south down 14th St. in Washington, DC from U Street NW at night, March 2013.

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 I-395, the Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway.

History[edit]

Fourteenth Street Historic District
DC Route 4.jpg
The corner of 14th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue in 1942
Location Roughly bounded by S, 12th, N and 15th Sts., NW., Washington, District of Columbia
Area 105 acres (42 ha)
Architectural style Mid 19th Century Revival, Late Victorian, Modern Movement
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 94000992[1]
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".[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] The opening of a Whole Foods Market at 14th and P Streets in 2000 is also considered a major turning point for the neighborhood.[5]

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.[6] As of 2012, the center of gravity had shifted and Logan Circle was voted "DC's gay neighborhood."[7]

14th Street, especially south of Florida Avenue, is rapidly gentrifying and now known as the preeminent dining destination in the Greater Washington area.[8] In a nine-month period alone between 2012 and 2013, 24 new restaurants opened on 14th Street.[9] In a two-year span, almost every block of 14th between Rhode Island and Florida Avenues had a major residential redevelopment project scheduled, adding more than 1,200 housing units and 85,000 square feet of retail.[10]

Landmarks[edit]

The renovated Tivoli Theatre in Columbia Heights at Park and 14th Streets NW.

Transit service[edit]

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.

Rail[edit]

There are two Metrorail stations on 14th Street (the U Street station is one block east, at 13th and U Streets NW):

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.

Bus[edit]

Metrobus[edit]

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

DC Circulator[edit]

The DC Circulator's Woodley ParkAdams MorganMcPherson Square Metro bus line travels along 14th Street between Columbia Heights and Franklin Square.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ Wilgoren, Debbi (December 20, 2004). "From Showrooms to Showplaces". Washington Post. p. B01. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Linskey, Annie (April 1, 2004). "D.C.'s 14th Street, once shunned, is the new hot spot". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 25 August 2005. 
  4. ^ Lamb, Yvonne Shinhoster (March 24, 2006). "Source Theatre Founder Bart Whiteman". Washington Post. p. B06. Retrieved 9 August 2006. 
  5. ^ Amanda Abrams, "In D.C., a Street’s Grit Gives Way to Glamour," New York Times, 1 May 2012.
  6. ^ Best of Gay DC: Community, The Washington Blade, October 7, 2005
  7. ^ "Where is DC's Gay Neighborhood? The Winner is..." Borderstan, 30 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Best of DC: Best Neighborhood for Dining 2014," Washington City Paper, 2014.
  9. ^ "Take a stroll down the new 14th Street," Washington Post, 21 July 2013.
  10. ^ Abrams, "In D.C., a Street’s Grit Gives Way to Glamour."
  11. ^ "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