Park View (Washington, D.C.)
|• Councilmember||Brianne Nadeau|
|• Land||0.25 sq mi (0.6 km2)|
The name of the neighborhood comes from its views east over the campus of the Old Soldiers' Home. At the time Park View was developed, and well into the 1960s, the Home's grounds were open to the public as a park. Those grounds were a designed urban landscape, including pedestrian paths and ponds, modeled along the principles of New York City's Central Park. Indeed, when the Home's campus was developed into a public park in the later 1880s, it often was compared to Central Park.
A solidly residential community, Park View is a quiet corner of the city, one in which the trend toward gentrification has only recently found a foothold. Its one commercial corridor, Georgia Avenue, has its share of liquor stores and empty store fronts, but increasing interest in the corridor has attracted other goods and services to the area. The revitalization of the corridor began with the E.L. Haynes Public Charter School (3600 Georgia), founded in 2004, and Temperance Hall (3634 Georgia, now the Looking Glass Lounge) in 2006. Since then, a number of new restaurants and taverns have opened and, along with decades old businesses, continue the commercial revitalization of the community.
Park View is situated in the Northwest quadrant of the city. The territory that defines the Park View neighborhood extends from Gresham Place north to Rock Creek Church Road, and from Georgia Avenue to the Soldiers' Home grounds. The additional area bounded by Park Road, New Hampshire Avenue, and Georgia Avenue completes the neighborhood's boundaries. The southern border of the Park View Citizens' Association was Columbia Road.
The majority of Park View falls within Tract 32 of the 188 Census Tracts in the District of Columbia. The 2010 census figures estimated Tract 32 with a population of 4,913 residents. This was a 9.7% increase in population from the 2000 census. Ethnically, in 2010 the neighborhood's population was 57.7% African American; 24.2% Hispanic or Latino; 14.7% white; 1.9% Asian/Pacific Islander; 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native; and 0.2% some other race.
According to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (2005–09), the average family income was $70,231. This was up 22% from the 2000 census numbers. The same survey reported the unemployment rate in Park View to be 9.6%. Employment for residents 16 years of age or older was 63% at that time.
Politically, Park View is in D.C.'s Ward 1 and falls within Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A (ANC1A). Three ANC1A Single Member Districts represent the neighborhood. ANC 1A08 represents the northern section, central Park View is represented by ANC 1A09, and ANC 1A10 serves the southern third of the neighborhood.
The transition of the rural community to the west of the Soldiers' Home into Washington's Park View neighborhood dates to June 4, 1886. On that date, the heirs of Catherine M. Whitney sold the former estate of Asa Whitney, known as Whitney Close, to Benjamin H. Warder of Ohio for the sum of $60,024. Warder immediately set about subdividing the 43-acre tract of land into building lots for a new community. This was followed by the subdivision and development of other country properties in the area. These subdivisions—including Whitney Close, Schuetzen Park, and Bellevue—were organized into a single neighborhood known as Park View in 1908. Park View eventually included the subdivision of Princeton Heights to the north to round out the neighborhood boundaries. Since the neighborhood abutted the grounds of the Soldiers' Home, and as the grounds were open to the public as a courtesy, the name Park View was chosen to signify the close relationship between these two communities.
The Soldiers' Home Grounds were important in the early life of Park View. The Soldiers' Home granted permission to the neighborhood to hold their Fourth of July celebrations there in 1917 and 1918. Neighborhood children would play on the grounds and sail toy boats on the ponds. Picnics and long walks were also frequent pastimes, with the view of the city and the Capitol being unparalleled.
Reflecting the social changes occurring in the entire city of Washington, Park View desegregated at the end of the 1940s. Black families began to move into the northern part of the neighborhood around 1946. Eventually, the neighborhood became a solidly African American community and remained this way for a period of over 30 years. Following the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station opening in 1999 the neighborhood began to change yet again and today can be considered truly multicultural.
The relationship between the neighborhood and the Soldiers' Home began to change during the early 1950s. In response to losing part of its property to the south for the Washington Hospital Center, the Soldiers' home began closing its southern gates from 1953 to 1955. Eventually, its grounds were officially closed to residents of the neighborhoods entirely in November 1968, thus depriving the community of the only real green space it had ever known.
Georgia Avenue is the commercial artery of Park View. It was built in 1810 which makes it one of Washington's oldest thoroughfares connecting the city of Washington with nearby communities. It was originally known as the 7th Street Turnpike and connected Washington with Rockville, Md., leaving the city from its northern boundary where 7th Street crosses today's Florida Avenue. It was renamed Georgia Avenue in 1908 after Georgia Senator Augustus Octavius Bacon pushed an amendment through Congress for that purpose.
Architectural and cultural sites of interest
Tenth Precinct Station House
The Tenth Precinct Station House, located at 750 Park Road, was designed by A.B. Mullett and Company and built in 1901. It is significant for its architectural character and its historical association with the police department of the District of Columbia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The designation of the Tenth Precinct and the construction of the police station in 1901 were responses to the expansion of the city limits and urban population into this area. Reforms in the D.C. police department in the latter decades of the nineteenth century had led to the enlargement of the force and creation of new precincts.
The street system in the area north of Florida Avenue (formerly Boundary Street) had been surveyed by 1901, but few buildings had been constructed. By 1910, the block from Sherman Avenue to Georgia Avenue, in which the station house is located, was almost fully occupied by tradesmen and workers. The station house, assessed at $13,000, was by far the most imposing building on the block in which most of the properties were assessed at less than $1,000. Its imposing character in relation to the residential environs as well as its architectural quality suggested the importance of symbolic expression of authority. This expression is characteristic of the City Beautiful movement, a growing belief at the turn of the century that public structures should be imposing, monumental and of classical style.
Until 1886, the D.C. police department had been charged with corruption, political partisanship and venality. Subsequent reforms led to the enlargement of the force and creation of new precincts. Each station house was staffed by a captain, a lieutenant and several sergeants. The station house was the first facility to which an arrested man or woman was brought. At the station house, the arrest was recorded, and the prisoner was confined there until released on bail or removed, to police court for trial or to jail to await grand jury testimony. Misdemeanors were handled at the station house; felonies were dealt with in D.C. Supreme or Police Court.
Today, it houses the Metropolitan Police Department's Fourth District substation. The structure is listed on the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.
Park View Christian Church
The old Whitney Avenue Christian Church which had been built in 1877 was replaced in 1920. At that time, it was among the oldest landmarks in Park View. The church, located at 625 Park Road, was the location of the earliest efforts to form the Park View community and build the new school on Warder.
In 1920, the old church was replaced with the building that is there now. The new building was renamed the Park View Christian Church and built at a cost of $30,000.
The congregation of the Park View Christian Church eventually moved to Shepherd Park, and the Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church moved to 625–627 Park Rd. in 1944. The structure supported Trinity's congregation until 1983, when Trinity moved to its current location on 16th Street.
Park View School
The school located at the intersection of Warder and Newton streets was built in 1916 to designs by Snowden Ashford. The origin of the school can be traced back to the efforts of the Park View Citizens' Association and their persistent appeal to Congress for funds to purchase the land and build the school. Ashford designed the school in his preferred style of Collegiate Gothic. The interior is notable for the wooden truss that supports the auditorium roof.
It is constructed of red tapestry brick with trimmings of Bedford limestone and was built on some of the highest ground in the city. Originally a 16-room structure, the school quickly became too small for the needs of the community. In 1920 the progressive platoon school model was adopted which helped address the school's space problem. Two wings were finally added to the building and ready for use by 1931.
By the late 1940s, the racial makeup of the neighborhood had changed from predominantly white to predominantly black. As black schools were overcrowded and white schools were under-enrolled, Park View was transferred to the black division in 1949.
The school is still in use today as a District of Columbia Public Elementary School.
Princeton Heights Development
The section of Park View north of Otis, south of Rock Creek Church Road, and between Georgia Avenue and the Soldiers' Home was first developed as Princeton Heights. This area was originally the estate of the Cammack family, which was sold by the heirs in 1908 to builder Edgar S. Kennedy, who would eventually be associated with the Kennedy–Warren. Between 1909 and 1919, Kennedy subdivided the estate, put in roads, and built 162 contiguous homes in 20 separate rows. Kennedy's homes were known for their quality, non-static facades, and inclusion of progressive features. In 1919, Kennedy sold the unimproved land between Princeton Place and Otis Place to Herman R. Howenstein, who completed the development.
The York Theater, located at 3635–3641 Georgia Avenue, was designed by Reginald W. Geare as one of Harry Crandall's chain of theaters. Kennedy Brothers were hired as the builders, and it was one of the last two structures built by Kennedy in the Princeton Heights development. While newspaper accounts reported the theater to cost $100,000 to build, the estimate on the building permit valued the project at $50,000. The front of the structure was constructed of tapestry brick and trimmed with white stone and marble. Inside, the proscenium hangings were of rich gold velour enlivened with blue medallions and white figures in relief. Newspaper accounts also described the lighting system as unique.
The structure was in use as a theater as late as May 1954. It was purchased by the National Evangelistic Center in May 1957 and has been used as a church since them. Today, it is home of the Fishermen of Men Church.
Despite the early promise of development coming to Park View's section of Georgia Avenue when Temperance Hall opened at 3634 Georgia Avenue in January, 2006, it was not until 2009 that significant development began to take hold. Temperance Hall changed hands in early 2008 becoming the Looking Glass Lounge. In stark contrast, 2009 witnessed the groundbreaking of three major projects and the selection of a developer for a fourth.
Starting on August 10, 2009, the district began to demolish the 37-year-old Bruce-Monroe school with the goal of replacing it with a modern facility. Financing for a new school building continued to be difficult and the district's hope to develop the site as a mixed use public/private venture fell apart late in 2010. During this time, the 3-acre (12,000 m2) site was transformed into an interim park that opened to the community at the end of July, 2010. With building a new school no longer an option, the district decided to move forward with modernizing the historic Park View School to meet the area's elementary school needs.
The Bernice E. Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center (Ward One Senior Wellness Center), located at 3531 Georgia Avenue, broke ground on October 14, 2009. The $5.2 million facility, containing 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of space on three floors, had its official ribbon cutting on September 10, 2010, and was officially open for business on February 28, 2011, and dedicated in honor of Bernice E. Fonteneau on May 25, 2011.
The last building to break ground in 2009 was the CVS located on the southwest corner of Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues, which broke ground on November 12. The CVS was completed and open for business on July 25, 2010, with an official ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Adrian Fenty, councilmembers Jim Graham and Murial Bowser, deputy mayor for planning and economic development Valerie Santos, and other representatives from CVS and the developer LaKritz/Adler on July 27, 2010.
Building projects in Washington, including Georgia Avenue, stalled in 2010 due to the economy, but picked up again in 2011. In Park View, the resumption of development included Landex Corporation's The Avenue and Neighborhood Development Company's The Heights. The Avenue broke ground in April 2011 and was hailed as the first phase of the new Park Morton housing community. The Avenue was designed as an 83-unit mixed-use apartment building. Located at 3506 Georgia Avenue, NW, the building contains 81,044 square feet of residential space and 2,388 sq ft (221.9 m2) of ground floor retail. It also includes a mix of one and two-bedroom apartment units. Residential space features a lounge, a fitness center, meeting rooms, and underground parking. The building opened with an official ribbon cutting on September 21, 2012.
The Heights broke ground in January 2012. The Heights, located at 3232 Georgia Avenue was designed as a mixed use development designed to contain 69 units with 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) of ground floor retail. The project was completed in May 2013 and opened with a ribbon cutting on May 8, 2013.
Ground was also broken at the vacant lot at 3205 Georgia Avenue in April 2013. Currently under construction, the building is planned to have five floors and 31 1- and 2-bedroom rental units. Floors two through five will each have seven apartments. The first floor will have three.
Another major development planned for Georgia Avenue is the redevelopment of the Park Morton housing complex. Mayor Fenty announced the selection of Landex Corp. to redevelop the Park Morton complex on October 7, 2009. The first phase of the development, at 3506 Georgia, was completed in September 2012.
Two additional project are also in the works: The Vue by Neighborhood Development Company and The V by Velocity Capital. The Vue, at 3333 Georgia Avenue, is planned to rise seven-stories above the 7,000 sq ft (650 m2) ground floor retail and offer 112 residences. Forty-nine parking spaces will be provided below grade.
The V, located at 3557 Georgia, is a six-story mixed-use project that consists of ground floor retail and twenty dwelling units above. The proposed retail space would contain approximately 2,138 sq ft (198.6 m2) and would be appropriate for a café. The Otis Place side of the property could also support 530 sq ft (49 m2) of outdoor seating should a future tenant apply for a public space permit. The residential units would consist of ten one-bedroom and ten two-bedroom units. The exact number that will be dedicated for affordable housing is not known, but the developer has indicated it would be more than the city required minimum.
According to Housing Market (Single-Family Homes) statistics for 2011, 46 homes sold in Park View (census Tract 32). The median sales price for a home was $430,000, below the district average of $527,000.
The community is well served by two Metrorail stations. Both stations are on the Yellow and Green lines. The most convenient for northern Park View is the Georgia Avenue–Petworth station which is situated at the northeast corner of Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues and just over the Park View border in Petworth. Central Park View is best served by the Columbia Heights station located at the intersection of Irving and 14th Streets—three blocks west of the neighborhood. The area is also served by a number of WMATA Metrobus lines.
In late October, 2009, DDOT held its first of the series of eight meetings focused on DC's transit future. At these meetings DDOT presented its plans for an extensive streetcar system it is planning to build in the city. Two of these planned lines would serve Park View. The first line would travel along Georgia Avenue and is included in DDOT's first phase plans. The second line would travel through the neighborhood along Irving Street and Columbia Road and is included in DDOT's third phase of the plan. Detailed plans for the streetcar system are yet to be completed.
Residents of Park View are served by the following schools in the District of Columbia Public Schools system.
- Elementary schools
- Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Park View
- Tubman Elementary School
- Raymond Education Campus (for residents north of Park Rd. & west of Georgia Ave.)
- Middle schools
- High school (primary)
- Public Charter schools
There are several Public Charter schools in the area. These include:
- Boese, Kent C., edited by Mara Cherkasky and designed by Janice Olson. Historic Park View: A Walking Tour. Washington, DC: Park View United Neighborhood Coalition, 2012.
- Boese, Kent C., Lauri Hafvenstein. Park View. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2011.
- Levitz, Dena. Park View: It’s Not Petworth. Urban Turf blog, August 3, 2012.
- Siegal, Ann Cameron. "Park View neighborhood in District is pleasantly walkable", The Washington Post, May 1, 2010. p. 1F.
- Park View Citizens' Association. Directory and History of Park View, 1921. p. 29.
- "Park View Citizens Association Has Won Benefits for Many Areas Besides Its Own", The Washington Post, Nov. 11, 1940. p. 13.
- "DC Tract Profile, Tract 32". NeighborhoodInfo DC. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
- "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
- DC Tract Profile, NeighborhoodInfo DC
- Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A (anc1a.org)
- "Important Real Estate Sales," The Washington Post, June 5, 1886. p. 2.
- Park View Citizens' Association. Directory and History of Park View, 1921. p. 29, 32.
- Park View Citizens' Association. Directory and History of Park View, 1921. p. 33.
- "Miss Wilson to Lead Singing of War Hymns At Park View July 4", The Washington Post, June 28, 1918. p. 9
- The Old Soldiers’ Home Park Rd Gate … Closed Since 1955. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Old Soldiers' Home's Randolph Gate Closed in 1953. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Park View United Neighborhood Coalition Web site
- Originally Georgia Avenue was in SE, not NW. Park View, D.C. blog.
- "Policing the Suburbs: Plans for New Station Are Almost Completed", The Washington Post, July 30, 1900. p. 10.
- "New $30,000 Church", The Washington Post, Jan. 4, 1920. p. 37.
- New Commandment Baptist Church Web site Archived 2009-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
- Park View Citizens' Association. Directory and History of Park View, 1921. p. 12.
- Poston, Aurora M. "Platoon School Solves Lack of Space Problem", The Washington Post, Jan. 11, 1925. p. AU6.
- "Park View School Addition to Open", The Washington Post, Nov. 10, 1931. p. 8.
- Boese, Kent C. Houses with Novel Points: Kennedy Brothers, Princeton Heights, and the Making of Northern Park View. Paper presented at the 36th Annual Conference on Washington, DC Historical Studies (2009).
- Headley, Robert K. Motion Picture Exhibition in Washington, D.C.: An Illustrated History of Parlors, Palaces and Multiplexes in the Metropolitan Area, 1894–1997. Jefferson, N.C., McFarland & Co., 1999. p. 343.
- Fritz, Hahn. "In Petworth, the Jazz Age Returns", The Washington Post, Mar. 3, 2006. p. T05.
- Johnson, Ken. "Georgia Avenue School Demolished for Mixed-Use Project".DCmud blog.
- Georgia Avenue Development Year in Review Park View, D.C. blog.
- Park View School to be Modernized, No New Building for Bruce-Monroe Park View, D.C. blog.
- Fenty Administration Breaks Ground on Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center Archived 2010-02-05 at the Wayback Machine (news release), Oct. 14, 2009.
- Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center Cuts Ribbon, Has Soft OpeningPark View, D.C. blog.
- Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center Opens February 28, 2011 Park View, D.C. blog.
- Bernice E. Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center Dedicated Park View, D.C. blog.
- CVS Breaks Ground. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Park View CVS Open! Park View, D.C. blog.
- CVS has its Ribbon Cutting. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Landex Corporation’s Avenue Project (Park Morton) Begun, Demolition in Full Swing. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Georgia Ave. Housing Overhaul Moving Forward. D.C. Mud blog.
- The Avenue Celebrates Opening Today with “Taste of Georgia Avenue”. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Work Begins at The Heights — Georgia & Lamont.Park View, D.C. blog.
- Development Preview: The Heights on Georgia Avenue.Park View, D.C. blog.
- Ribbon Cutting for The Heights Scheduled for Wednesday. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Georgia Ave. Housing Development Update. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Additional Details on Development Headed for Georgia & Kenyon. Park View, D.C. blog.
- Fenty Announces Selection of Development Team for Park Morton Archived 2010-02-08 at the Wayback Machine (news release), Oct. 7, 2009.
- NDC Proposes Redevelopment of Georgia Avenue Strip Mall. DCmud blog.
- Preview of Development Proposed for Georgia and Otis Place. Park View, D.C. blog.
- "DC Tract Profile, Tract 32". NeighborhoodInfo DC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- First DDOT Transit Meeting Held in Ward 6. Park View, D.C. blog.
- DC's Transit Future: Proposed Streetcar System Plan Archived 2010-02-05 at the Wayback Machine, DDOT (2009).
- ANC 1A, Advisory Neighborhood Commission serving Columbia Heights and Park View
- District of Columbia Public Schools