One of Northeast's oldest neighborhoods, Deanwood’s relatively low density, small wood-frame and brick homes, and dense tree cover give it a small-town character that is unique in the District of Columbia. Much of its housing stock dates from the early 20th century. Several well-known African-American architects, including W. Sidney Pittman and Howard D. Woodson, and many skilled local craftsmen designed and built many of its homes. The neighborhood was once home to Nannie Helen Burroughs, an early civil rights leader and the founder of the National Training School for Women and Girls, an independent boarding school for African-American girls founded in 1909 and located on 50th Street, NE. Marvin Gaye (1939-1984) was also born and raised in this neighborhood. From 1921 to 1940, Deanwood was also home to Suburban Gardens (50th and Hayes NE), a black-owned amusement park that served thousands of African-American residents during a time of racial segregation.
The neighborhood is featured prominently in crime author Jim Beame's short story, "Jeanette."
- Beame, Jim. "Jeanette." In D.C. Noir. George P. Pelecanos, ed. New York: Akashic Books, 2006. ISBN 1-888451-90-4
- Deanwood History Committee. Washington, D.C.'s Deanwood. Mount Pleasant, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2008. ISBN 0-7385-5350-6