Hyattsville, Maryland

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Hyattsville, Maryland
City of Hyattsville
Aerial view of Hyattsville
Aerial view of Hyattsville
Flag of Hyattsville, Maryland
Official seal of Hyattsville, Maryland
"A World Within Walking Distance"[1]
Location in Maryland
Location in Maryland
Coordinates: 38°57′25″N 76°57′5″W / 38.95694°N 76.95139°W / 38.95694; -76.95139Coordinates: 38°57′25″N 76°57′5″W / 38.95694°N 76.95139°W / 38.95694; -76.95139
Country United States of America
State Maryland
County Prince George's
 • MayorRobert Croslin
 • Total2.73 sq mi (7.07 km2)
 • Land2.71 sq mi (7.01 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
105 ft (32 m)
 • Total21,187
 • Density7,832.53/sq mi (3,024.22/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
Area code(s)301, 240
FIPS code24-41250
GNIS feature ID0597595

Hyattsville is a city in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States,[3] and also a close, urban suburb of Washington, D.C. The population was 21,187 at the 2020 United States Census.[4]


Before Europeans reached the area, the upper Anacostia River was home to Nacotchtank/Anaquashtank people, a Piscataway-speaking Algonquian peoples who lived throughout what is now the Washington, D.C. area.[5] European encroachment and diseases decimated their population and by the 1680s the Nacotchtank/Anaquashtank had largely moved away and merged with other tribes. In the 1720s, John Beall acquired land in the area and established Beall Town, but the town did not prosper like its neighbor Bladensburg. The opening of the Washington–Baltimore Turnpike (modern day US 1) in 1812 and the B&O Railroad Washington Branch line in 1835 brought more settlers to the area.[6][7]

The city's founder, Christopher Clark Hyatt (1799–1884), purchased his first parcel of land in the area in 1845.[7] Hyatt opened a store and began mail delivery, officially naming the nascent community "Hyattsville" in his 1859 application to become postmaster. In the years following the Civil War, Hyatt and other local landowners subdivided their properties and sold lots, and the population of Hyattsville grew. Hyattsville was incorporated as a city on April 7, 1886.[8]

Revitalization projects[edit]

Since 2000, the city has undergone a major redevelopment, including significant residential and retail development in the Arts District Hyattsville (located in the Gateway Arts District), and the area surrounding the Prince George's Plaza Metro station and The Mall at Prince Georges.[9] In the latter area, University Town Center contains residential condos, student housing, office buildings, a public plaza, and retail space, including a 14-screen movie theater and several restaurants, as well as a campus of Prince George's Community College. As of 2020, additional residential and retail development is underway near the West Hyattsville Metro station.[10] Along Route 1, craft brewers and distillers have played a notable role in revitalizing old commercial properties.[11][12]


The City of Hyattsville consists of six subdivisions; Hyattsville Hills, Downtown Hyattsville, Kirkwood, Queens Chapel Manor, Castle Manor, and University Hills. Historic Hyattsville reportedly consists of the Hyattsville Hills, Downtown Hyattsville, and Castle Manor subdivisions.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.70 square miles (6.99 km2), of which 2.67 square miles (6.92 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.[13]


Typical of central Maryland, Hyattsville lies within the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen: Cfa), characterized by hot humid summers and generally cool to mild winters, with high annual precipitation.[14] Hyattsville lies within USDA plant hardiness zone 7a.[15]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[4][16]

Hyattsville has attracted a significant gay and lesbian population. In 2000, same-sex couples accounted for 1.3 percent of households, more than double the national average.[17]

2020 census[edit]

As of the 2020 U.S. census,[18] there were 21,187 people in 6,592 households and 8,673 housing units at an average density of 3,212.2/sq mi (1,240.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 31.7% African American, 24.8% White, 3.7% Asian, 1.6% Native American or Alaskan Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 26.9% from other races, and 11.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 38.6% of the population.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 U.S. census,[19] there were 17,557 people, 6,324 households, and 3,724 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,575.7 inhabitants per square mile (2,538.9/km2). There were 6,837 housing units at an average density of 2,560.7/sq mi (988.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 33.2% White, 35.6% African American, 0.8% Native American, 4.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 21.4% from other races, and 4.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.0% of the population (16.4% Salvadorean, 4.1% Mexican, 3.1% Guatemalan, 1.2% Honduran, 1.1% Dominican, 0.8% Puerto Rican).

There were 6,324 households, of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.1% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.39.

The median age in the city was 32.1 years. 22.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 34.7% were from 25 to 44; 23.2% were from 45 to 64; and 7.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.8% male and 49.2% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 U.S. census,[20] there were 14,733 people, 5,540 households, and 3,368 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,885.9 inhabitants per square mile (2,658.7/km2). There were 5,795 housing units at an average density of 2,708.5/sq mi (1,045.8/km2). The ethnic makeup of the city was 41.03% African American, 39.53% White, 18.14% Hispanic or Latino 0.50% Native American, 4.02% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 10.91% from other races, and 3.98% from two or more races.

There were 5,540 households, out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.2% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,355, and the median income for a family was $51,625. Males had a median income of $33,163 versus $31,088 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,152. About 7.9% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.


Because the city of Hyattsville shares ZIP codes with surrounding municipalities and unincorporated communities, which are designated as "Hyattsville" by the United States Postal Service, municipal officials have expressed concerns that crime in non-Hyattsville locations is attributed to the city, creating "an image problem" for the city.[21] According to FBI crime statistics, the violent crime rate per 1,000 residents has significantly decreased in Hyattsville, from 11.42 in 2007[22] to 4.64 in 2019.[23]

Arts and culture[edit]

Historic sites[edit]

The historic district of the city is home to a number of Victorian houses built in the late 1880s and Sears bungalows and Arts & Crafts houses built between the wars (late 1910s and early 1940s). Historic Hyattsville is roughly bounded by East West Highway to the north; Route 1 to the east; the 38th Street Neighborhood Park to the south, and Queens Chapel Road to the west.[24]

Some historic sites in Hyattsville are listed on the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission:[25] and the National Register of Historic Places. In 1982, a portion of the city was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Hyattsville Historic District; the district was extended in late 2004.

Notable historic sites include Hyattsville Armory and the Hyattsville Main Post Office.

Arts District[edit]

Downtown Hyattsville underwent revitalization in the early 2000s with the development of Arts District Hyattsville, part of the Gateway Arts District, a private project which includes townhomes, live-work units, and retail space.[26] The master developer of the 25-acre neighborhood was Bethesda-based EYA, and was constructed by EYA, PulteGroup, StreetSense, and Bozzuto Group. A Busboys and Poets restaurant opened in July 2011; other retail offerings include Yes! Organic Market, Elevation Burger, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Spice 6 Modern Indian, and Tara Thai.[27] In the winter of 2015, a traveling exhibition platform Visual Collaborative collaborated with the Arts District Hyattsville Master Association, utilizing the Lustine Center to host a group exhibition themed Vanity.[28]

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, a nonprofit arts center is located in Hyattsville, in the historic Arcade building.[29][30]

Public libraries[edit]

Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) operates the Hyattsville Branch Library,[31] which in 1964 was the first county-built library building for PGCMLS.[32] The original mid-century modern building with its distinctive googie-style flying saucer entryway was demolished in 2019 after a failed effort by preservationists to have the building renovated instead of replaced.[33][34] The library system's administrative offices were housed in a building adjacent to the Hyattsville Branch[35] until they were moved to the Largo Library in Largo in 2015.[36]

The Hyattsville Branch Library with its Googie flying saucer entrance[37] and Northwestern High School are also located in University Hills.


When first incorporated, Hyattsville was run by a Board of Commissioners; in May 1900, it switched to a mayor and common council system. Today, the city government consists of a popularly elected mayor and a ten-person city council. Each of the five wards in the city are represented by two popularly elected council members.

In January 2015, the Hyattsville Council passed a charter amendment to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in city elections, making Hyattsville one of the few jurisdictions in the United States that has done so.[38] In December 2016, the city expanded voting rights again, granting non-citizen residents the right to vote in municipal elections.[39]

Presidents of the Board of Commissioners[edit]

  • Richard P. Evans (1886–87)
  • Francis H. Smith (1887–89)
  • Francis J. Gramlick (1889–90)
  • Jackson H. Ralston (1890–91)
  • Frederic A. Holden (1891–92)
  • Jackson H. Ralston (1892–93)
  • Francis H. Smith (1893–97)
  • Michael V. Tierney (1897–98)
  • L.K. Miller (1898–99)
  • Charles E. Postley (1899–1900)


  • Gregory W. Eberwein (1898–00)
  • Michael V. Tierney (1900–02)
  • Charles A. Wells (1902–06)
  • Joseph R. Owens (1906–08)
  • John J. Fainter[a] (1908–09)
  • William P. Magruder (1909–11)
  • Roger Bellis (1911–12)
  • Harry W. Shepherd (1912–14)
  • Oswald A. Greagor (1914–15)
  • Edward Devlin (1915–16)
  • John G. Holden (1916–17)
  • William A. Brooks (1917–19)
  • Matthew F. Halloran (1919–20)
  • T. Hammond Welsh (1920–21)
  • J. Frank Rushe (1921–25)
  • Irvin Owings (1925–27)
  • Hillary T. Willis (1927–31)
  • Lemuel L. Gray (1931–33)
  • Hillary T. Willis (1933–38)
  • E. Murray Gover (1938–46)
  • R.T. Plitt[a] (1946–47)
  • Caesar L. Aiello (1947–51)
  • Jesse S. Baggett (1951–54)
  • Thomas E. Arnold[a] (1954–55)
  • George J. O'Hare (1955–59)
  • Joseph F. Lilly (1959–67)
  • Charles L. Armentrout (1967–75)
  • George C. Harrison (1975–76)
  • Jeremiah Harrington (1976–79)
  • Thomas L. Bass (1979–95)
  • Mary K. Prangley (1995–99)
  • Robert W. Armentrout (1999–2003)
  • William F. Gardiner (2003–11)
  • Marc Tartaro (2011–15)
  • Candace B. Hollingsworth (2015–20)
  • Kevin Ward (2021–22)
  • Robert Croslin (2022– )

County government[edit]

Prince George's County Police Department District 1 Station in Hyattsville serves areas outside of the city that are not located in an incorporated municipality that maintains its own police department.[40]

Federal government[edit]

The United States Postal Service operates Hyattsville Post Office,[41] the West Hyattsville Post Office,[42] and the Prince Georges Plaza Post Office.[43] The Calvert Carrier Annex has a Hyattsville address but is physically in Riverdale Park.[44]

The National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, is headquartered in Hyattsville and located at University Town Center.


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Hyattsville Elementary, Felegy Elementary, Hyattsville Middle, and Northwestern High School, along with the Chelsea School, St. Matthews, DeMatha, and St. Jerome Academy are located within the city limits.

Public schools[edit]

The city is served by Prince George's County Public Schools,[45][46] and its borders overlap with the enrollment areas for the following public schools:[47][48][49]

  • Hyattsville Elementary School
  • Edward M. Felegy Elementary School
  • Rosa Parks Elementary School
  • University Park Elementary School
  • Rogers Heights Elementary School
  • Hyattsville Middle School
  • Nicholas Orem Middle School
  • William Wirt Middle School
  • Northwestern High School
  • Bladensburg High School

During the era of legally-required racial segregation of schools, black students from Hyattsville attended Lakeland High School in College Park in the period 1928–1950;[50] Fairmont Heights High School, then near Fairmount Heights, replaced Lakeland High and served black students only from 1950 to 1964; around 1964 legally-required racial segregation of schools ended.[51]

Private schools[edit]

  • Chelsea School (5–12) for students with language-based learning disabilities and ADD/ADHD
  • DeMatha Catholic High School (9–12)
  • St. Francis International School (Catholic) (K–8) (St. Mark the Evangelist Campus) — As of 2013 it is primarily used for summer programs and athletics, with classes held in the Silver Spring campus.[52]
    • Formerly St. Mark the Evangelist School,[53] closed and merged into Saint Francis International, which opened in 2010.[54] Beginning in 2013 College Park Academy (CPA) leased the St. Francis building;[52] in 2017 CPA moved to its permanent Riverdale Park campus.[55]
  • St. Jerome Academy (Catholic) (Pre-K–8)
  • St. Matthew's Parish Day School (Episcopal) (Pre-K–K)

Colleges and universities[edit]

Prince George's Community College has an extension center in University Town Center.[56] The University of Maryland campus in College Park is located approximately 2 miles north on Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) from historic Hyattsville.



Roads and highways[edit]

US 1 northbound in Hyattsville. The Trolley Trail trailhead can be seen at the right.

Several major surface highways serve Hyattsville. The most prominent of these is U.S. Route 1, which follows Rhode Island Avenue and Baltimore Avenue through the center of the city. US 1 connects southward to Washington, D.C. and northward through College Park to Interstate 95/Interstate 495 (the Capital Beltway). U.S. Route 1 Alternate follows the southern section of Baltimore Avenue to Bladensburg and provides an alternate route to Washington, D.C. Maryland Route 410 follows East-West Highway, connecting many of Washington, D.C.'s inner suburbs with Hyattsville. Two other state highways serving to connect Hyattsville to nearby towns include Maryland Route 208 and Maryland Route 500.

Public transportation[edit]

The Hyattsville Crossing and West Hyattsville Metro station both serve Hyattsville. Hyattsville is also served by the Riverdale MARC commuter train station, as well as a few Metrobus and TheBus routes. Students and staff at the University of Maryland have access to the free Shuttle–UM bus that goes from historic Hyattsville to the University of Maryland campus in College Park.


Hyattsville is well connected to regional Anacostia Tributary Trail System network of hiker–biker trails, including the Northwest Branch Trail, which runs along the southern and western sides of the city, and the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail. Numerous city streets include bicycle sharrows, along with a few unprotected bike lanes.[57] Capital Bikeshare has eight bikeshare stations within the city.[58]

Electric vehicles[edit]

In 2017, the Hyattsville City Police Department became the first law enforcement agency in the United States to put a Chevrolet Bolt (all-electric) fully marked police patrol vehicle into service. It has since added an all-electric police motorcycle, and six public electric vehicle charging stations, which are free to use by the public.[59]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The city was involved in a minor controversy in April 2006. In the episode airing April 27, the Geena Davis television series Commander in Chief depicted Hyattsville as having twelve murders in six months; it also indirectly depicted the city as being an urban ghetto dominated by poor minorities. The city and Prince George's County were very upset at ABC. On May 1, ABC formally apologized to both the city and county.[63]

Washington, D.C., based detective novelist George Pelecanos has included Hyattsville in some of his novels, including The Man Who Came Uptown.

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Acting mayor


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External links[edit]