American University Park
American University Park is a neighborhood of Washington, D.C., named for the American University. AU Park, as it is often abbreviated, is situated against the Maryland border in the Northwest quadrant, bounded by Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Western Avenues. Tenleytown and Friendship Heights lie to the east, Embassy Park to the southeast, and Spring Valley—the actual home of the university—to the southwest. Politically, it is part of Ward 3 and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E.
AU Park includes some of the greatest elevations in the city and is close to the District's highest point in neighboring Tenleytown at 429 feet (the city's lowest point, Potomac River is 1 ft. above sea level).
Developed in the 1920s by the WC and AN Miller Company, which also developed Spring Valley and Wesley Heights, the neighborhood consists almost entirely of single-family homes. A wide variety of architectural styles are present, and most homes have been modified or expanded since the 1930s. Although one of Washington's first tracts developed with the automobile in mind, the approximately 2700 homes are closely spaced, feature porches or stoops, and often lack driveways, which boosters say contributes to community spirit.
Friendship Park, often called Turtle Park, serves as a center for community activity. Neighborhood landmarks include American University's Washington College of Law, the Georgetown Day School, Bernard T. Janney Elementary School, the chancery of the diplomatic mission of Japan, and the former embassy of Sweden (which was relocated to the Georgetown waterfront in October 2006), and it was long popular among the diplomatic community. Affordable housing drew young families to AU Park starting in the early 1990s. It remains highly desirable but real estate values have more than doubled since then. Larger homes are now valued at over $1 million.
- Allen, Karen Tanner. "A Great Place to Settle, If Anyone Ever Leaves," Washington Post, June 19, 2004
- Couloumbis, Angela E. "Living and Learning At a Higher Level," Washington Post, February 10, 1996
- AU Park Coalition for the Common Good
- Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E
- Friendship Park, aka Turtle Park