Georgia Avenue is a major north-south artery in Northwest Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland. Within the District of Columbia and a short distance in Silver Spring, Maryland, Georgia Avenue is also U.S. Route 29. Both Howard University and Walter Reed Army Medical Center are located on Georgia Avenue.
Georgia Avenue begins north of Florida Avenue, which was the boundary of the Old City, and is a continuation of 7th Street. Traveling northward, the street passes Howard University and Fort Stevens. At Eastern Avenue, the road crosses into Montgomery County and passes through Silver Spring.
Where it crosses Colesville Road a mile into Maryland, Georgia Avenue splits off U.S. Route 29 and becomes Maryland State Highway 97. Georgia Avenue ends at the boundary with Howard County, where it becomes Roxbury Mills Road. The total length of the road is about 24 miles (39 km), of which 5 miles (8 km) are in Washington, D.C.
The original Georgia Avenue was the road now named Potomac Avenue in Southwest and Southeast. Current-day Georgia Avenue was originally named 7th Street Extended and Brightwood Avenue.
Seventh Street Pike was built as a plank road from Boundary Avenue (now Florida Avenue) to the District Line in 1852. Being a plank road, it was essentially paved with wooden planks that had to be replaced periodically due to rotting. The road was also known as Brightwood Avenue.
A tollgate was located at current-day 6400 Georgia Avenue, at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Piney Branch Road NW. Prominent residents living north of the tollgate decided to buy enough land to build a road to bypass the tollgate; this road became Piney Branch Road NW.
The road was also the path of the Seventh Street Railway, which took riders from Brightwood to downtown. The railway consisted of cars dragged by horses, guided by metal tracks that protruded above the road. On April 12, 1890, Seventh Street Railway became electrically powered; its cable cars were powered by overhead electrical lines, and the cars themselves were guided by metal tracks embedded in the road. Other electrically powered railways were built elsewhere in the District in later years.
In 1906, Georgia's senator Augustus Octavius Bacon was so dismayed that Georgia Avenue had become so neglected that he proposed to rename it Navy Yard Avenue and at the same time change the name of Brightwood Avenue to Georgia Avenue. The Washington Evening Star editorialized against the bill. While Senator Bacon's proposal did not come to fruition, Wisconsin's senator John Coit Spooner offered the same proposal again in 1907, which also included changing the name of 16th Street to Washington Avenue. Renaming of Brightwood Avenue was opposed by residents of Brightwood and Park View. The Business Men's Association also opposed the bill, saying it opposed the renaming of any avenue that was named in the original plan of the city. The street renaming was stricken from the bill during the reconciliation process. In 1908, Senator Bacon proposed the street renaming again. The bill was opposed by residents of Brightwood, Brightwood Park, Takoma, and Petworth, the Southeast Washington Citizens' Association, and the East Washington Citizens' Association. The Washington Evening Star also editorialized against the bill again, saying that changing the name of Brightwood Avenue "would remove all local significance from the name" and confuse those living in the neighborhood around what was then Georgia Avenue. The 1908 appropriations bill ended up changing the name of Georgia Avenue to Potomac Avenue and Brightwood Avenue to Georgia Avenue.
The Montgomery County Planning Board is undertaking a concept study to provide "a design framework for future master plans and projects from the District of Columbia to Howard County." The study covers each neighborhood in the corridor, examining pedestrian safety, urban design, and public transportation issues.
Metrorail stations on or near Georgia Avenue include:
The following Metrobus routes travel along the street (listed from south to north):
- 70, 71 (Silver Spring station to 7th St.)
- 79 (Limited stop service from the Silver Spring station to 7th St.)
- 62 (Kansas Ave. to New Hampshire Ave.)
- 60 (Upshur St. to New Hampshire Ave.)
- K1 (PM southbound only from Eastern Ave. to Butternut St.; AM northbound only from Dahlia St. to Eastern Ave.)
- Y5, Y7, Y8, Y9 (Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. to Silver Spring station)
- Q2 (Veirs Mill Rd. to Silver Spring station)
- J5 (I-495 to Silver Spring station)
The following Ride On routes travel along the street (listed from south to north):
- 28 Van Go shuttle (Southbound only from Bonifant St. to 13th St.)
- 33 (Glenmont station to Arcola Ave.)
- 51 (Hewitt Ave. to Glenmont station)
- 53 (Prince Phillip Dr. to Glenmont station, express south of Norbeck Rd.)
- 52 (Both directions from Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. to Hines Rd.; northbound only from Norbeck Rd. to Hines Rd.)
The following MARC train stop lies near the street:
In popular culture
- Google Maps, Georgia Avenue turns into Roxbury Mills Road
- Proctor, John Clagett, ed. (1930). Washington Past and Present 1. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company Inc. p. 146.
- Proctor, John Cloggett (April 22, 1928). "Plank Road to Brightwood Was Historic Much Traveled Way". Sunday Star.
- Proctor, John Clagett (September 20, 1942). "Eastern Star Has Golden Jubilee Here". Washington Evening Star. p. 29.
- Proctor, John Clagett, ed. (1930). Washington Past and Present 1. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company Inc. p. 164.
- Proctor, John Clagett, ed. (1930). Washington Past and Present 2. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company Inc. p. 731.
- "East Washington Plans for Many Betterments". The Washington Post. September 9, 1906. p. A10.
- "Keep the Old Names" (EDITORIAL). Washington Evening Star. June 13, 1906. p. 4.
- "More Money for District". The Washington Post. February 14, 1907. p. 4.
- "Shaping District Bill". Washington Evening Star. February 21, 1907. p. 1.
- "Object to Change in Name". The Washington Post. May 3, 1908. p. E1.
- "Local Suffrage Talk". Washington Evening Star. February 16, 1907. p. 15.
- "Money for District". Washington Evening Star. February 27, 1907. p. 14.
- "Brightwood Avenue Renamed". Washington Evening Star. April 29, 1908. p. 10.
- "Citizens Object to Change". Washington Evening Star. May 2, 1908. p. 9.
- "Juggling the Street Names" (EDITORIAL). Washington Evening Star. April 29, 1908. p. 6.
- "Pare District Budget". The Washington Post. May 22, 1908. p. 4.
- "Oiling of Maryland Roads Progressing". Washington Evening Star. May 22, 1927. p. 65.
- Montgomery County Planning Board, Silver Spring, MD (2008). "Georgia Avenue Concept Study."
- D.C. Caribbean Carnival
- Stewart, Nikita (January 14, 2007). "Georgia Ave. Awakening". The Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved 2007-01-14.
- D.C. Caribbean Carnival
- Why Is It Named Georgia Avenue?