Petworth, Washington, D.C.

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Neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.
Map of Petworth Neighborhood in the District of Columbia.png
Map of the District of Columbia, with Petworth highlighted in red
Coordinates: 38°56′32″N 77°01′32″W / 38.942161°N 77.025525°W / 38.942161; -77.025525
Country  United States
State/District  District of Columbia
Quadrant Northwest
Ward Ward 4
Advisory Neighborhood Commission ANC 4C; ANC 4D
 • Councilmember Brandon Todd
 • Delegate to the U.S. Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton
 • Land 0.91 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation 188.0 ft (57.3 m)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
ZIP Code 20010, 20011
Area code(s) 202
A sign in Petworth

Petworth is a residential neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C.. It is bounded to the east by the Armed Forces Retirement Home and Rock Creek Cemetery, to the west by Arkansas Avenue NW, to the south by Rock Creek Church Road NW and Spring Road NW, and to the north by Emerson Street NW.[1][2]

The neighborhood is primarily residential with a mix of terraced houses and single-family homes. It is accessible via the Georgia Ave-Petworth station on the Green Line and Yellow Line of the Washington Metro. Petworth borders to two expanses of historic greenspace, Rock Creek Cemetery and President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home.

Petworth is represented on the Council of the District of Columbia by the Ward 4 council member: since May 2015, Brandon Todd.[3] Muriel Bowser served as Ward 4 councilmember until she became the city's mayor on January 2, 2015.


Petworth was the name of the 205-acre country estate of John Tayloe III, likely named for the ancient town in West Sussex, England. The estate was bequeathed to his son Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, located at the northeast corner of 7th Street Pike (later known as Brightwood Avenue, now Georgia Avenue) and Rock Creek Church Road. In 1887, it was sold by Tayloe's heirs to developers for $107,000.[4][5] In 1889, developers registered “Petworth” with the District surveyor as a 387-acre plat of subdivision containing the former Tayloe estate and the Marshal Brown estate.[6] In 1893, additional real estate deals formed "West Petworth," from land west of Brightwood Avenue, including the Ruppert Farm, which was sold for $142,680, the 20-acre Burnaby tract, and a 14-acre property known as Poor Tom’s Last Shaft.[7] In 1900, Henry J. Ruppert sold an additional 31.7 acres west of Brightwood and Iowa Avenues and south of Utica Street (now Allison Street)[8] to the District for a proposed municipal hospital.[9]

In the early 1900s, the expansion of a streetcar line along Georgia Avenue to the border of Silver Spring, Maryland, made Petworth more accessible.

Many of the thousands of similar brick row houses in the neighborhood were constructed by Morris Cafritz and by D.J. Dunigan Company in the 1920s-1930s. Dunigan donated the land that became the site for St. Gabriel's Church and School next to Grant Circle.[citation needed]


Year Total ANC-4C Population % Children % Black % White % Hispanic % Asian/P.I. Average Family Income Median Home Sales Price
1990 19,875 19% 88% 6% 6% 1% $77,679 $166,000
2000 19,519 23% 72% 6% 20% 1% $85,209 $177,000
2005 19,540 17% 63% 14% 20% 1% $92,009 $491,000
2010 20,330 19% 57% 15% 26% 2% Not Avail. $460,000

Community events[edit]

Since 2006, the Upshur Street Art and Craft Fair has been an annual event in December.[11]

The Petworth Community Market, a farmer's market, is held along 9th Street between Upshur and Taylor Streets weekly on Saturdays from May through October.[12] The market features produce, local vendors, and prepared foods.

The Petworth Jazz Project is a free music series of jazz performances held at Petworth Park at 8th and Taylor Streets from May through September.

Since 2014, the Celebrate Petworth street festival has been held annually during the late spring or early summer on Upshur Street between 8th and 9th Streets. In 2017 it was moved to September.[13] In 2018 it will likely be in the Fall again.

From 1993 to 2011, the DC Caribbean Carnival parade was held annual each June along Georgia Avenue, passing through Petworth en route to Howard University.[14]



Petworth Neighborhood Library[edit]

The two-and-a-half story Georgian Revival Petworth Neighborhood Library building opened in 1939 at the corner of Georgia Ave. NW, Kansas Ave. NW, and Upshur St. NW.[15] In addition to providing access to DC Public Library general circulation items, the library’s collection includes a Spanish Language collection, job and employment literature, and Adult Basic Education materials. In June 2009, the library underwent a two-part renovation and re-opened on February 28, 2011.

Public schools[edit]

Roosevelt Senior High School

Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School[edit]

Roosevelt Senior High School enrolls students in ninth through 12th grade. The high school is also home to Roosevelt S.T.A.Y. program, an alternative academic and career/technical program that will lead to a high school diploma or vocational certificate. The high school, located at 13th and Upshur streets NW, was built in 1932 to accommodate 1,200 students. In 2013-15, it received a $121 million renovation, during which classes were held at the nearby MacFarland Middle School campus on 13th Street NW.[16] The school reopened for the 2015-16 academic year.

During the renovation, The American Panorama, a 1934 New Deal–funded fresco by the Baltimore-born artist Nelson Rosenberg,[17] was uncovered in the school cafeteria in fall 2013.[18] The fresco was restored as part of the renovation.

Truesdell Education Campus[edit]

Truesdell Education Campus enrolls 480 students (2013-2014) in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.[19]

Powell Elementary School[edit]

Powell enrolls students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.[20] The school opened in 1929 as a two-story brick building on Upshur St. NW near 14th St. NW, and was expanded in 1959 with a second structure. As of 2016, the school is undergoing a $42 million modernization and expansion.[21]

On March 4, 2014, President Barack Obama visited the school, where he announced the fiscal year 2015 budget and spoke about Powell’s early childhood education program. “We know — and this is part of the reason why we’re here today — that education has to start at the earliest possible ages,” Obama said. “So this budget expands access to the kind of high-quality preschool and other early learning programs to give all of our children the same kinds of opportunities that those wonderful children that we just saw are getting right here at Powell.”[22]

Charter schools[edit]

  • Breakthrough Montessori Public Charter School[23]
  • Bridges Public Charter School[24]
  • Center City Public Charter School – Petworth Campus[25]
  • E.L. Haynes Public Charter School[26]
  • Washington Latin Public Charter School[27]

Local businesses[edit]

In recent years, Petworth has seen more commercial establishments courting its growing urban population.[28][29] There are many restaurants and bars in the neighborhood.[30]

Public art[edit]

  • "The American Panorama," 1934, by Nelson Rosenberg. Fresco. Originally located in the cafeteria at Roosevelt Senior High School. Currently in storage by DC Department of General Services and awaiting restoration.[31]
  • "(Here I Stand) In the Spirit of Paul Robeson," 2001, by Allen Uzikee Nelson. Sculpture. Located at the corner of Georgia and Kansas Avenues NW [1]
  • "Homage to a Community," 2002, by Andrew Reid and Carlos Alves. Mural and ceramic tile frieze. Located inside the metro station.[2]
  • "New Leaf," 2007, by Lisa Scheer. Sculpture. Located outside the metro station at Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues.
  • Untitled Chuck Brown mural, 2012, by MacFarland Middle School students led by art teacher Charles Jean-Pierre. Mural. Located outside Sweet Mango Café, 3701 New Hampshire Ave NW[32]
  • "SHOWOFF," 2013, by Cita Sadeli (Also known as Chelove). Mural. Located on the southwest corner of Taylor Street NW and Georgia Avenue NW.[3]
  • Petworth mural, 2015, by Juan Pineda. Mural Located in the alley on the 800 block of Upshur Street NW between Willow and Petworth Citizen.[33]
  • Senhora dos Tempos or "Goddess of Time," 2016, by Robezio Marqs and Tereza Dequinta (known as the "Acidum Project"). Mural Located at Kansas Avenue and Taylor Street NW.[34]

Historic places[edit]

Adams Memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Rock Creek Church Yard and Cemetery
Entrance gate to St. Paul's Rock Creek Church Yard, Petworth neighborhood, Washington, DC, USA. December 2009

Notable people from Petworth[edit]

Notable people from Petworth include:

  • Blelvis (Rondy Wooten), a street entertainer


  1. ^ "Google Maps search for Petworth". Google Maps. Google. 
  2. ^ Lasky, Julie (15 May 2015). "Petworth, Washington, D.C.: A Place of Porches". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Sommer, Will (15 May 2015). "New Councilmembers Sworn In, With Nods To Bowser". Washington City Paper. 
  4. ^ "Another purchase of suburban property". The Washington Post. March 4, 1887. (subscription required)
  5. ^ "Bits of Local News". The Washington Post. January 6, 1888. (subscription required)
  6. ^ "The Plat of "Petworth" Filed". The Washington Post. January 17, 1889. (subscription required)
  7. ^ "Sale of West Petworth". The Washington Post. July 27, 1893. (subscription required)
  8. ^ "New Street Names". ProQuest. The Washington Post. August 2, 1905. (subscription required)
  9. ^ "Hospital Site Chosen". The Washington Post. November 17, 1900. (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Neighborhood Info DC". Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Upshur St Art & Craft Fair returns this Saturday, December 10th". Petworth News. December 6, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Petworth Community Market, Inc Website". 
  13. ^ "Celebrate Petworth is Saturday, Sept 9 and is going to be great!". Petworth News. September 2, 2017. 
  14. ^ Kiviat, Steve (July 17, 2013). "Will the Caribbean Carnival Ever Return to D.C.?". Washington City Paper. 
  15. ^ "Petworth Library History". DC Public Library. 
  16. ^ "Roosevelt High School Project". DC Department of General Services. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Nelson Rosenberg". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Wiener, Aaron (January 31, 2014). "Rough Ride: Can a new building, redrawn boundaries, and a changing neighborhood transform D.C.'s struggling Roosevelt High School?". Washington City Paper. 
  19. ^ "Truesdell Education Campus Profile". District of Columbia Public Schools. 
  20. ^ "Powell Elementary School Profile". District of Columbia Public Schools. 
  21. ^ "Powell Elementary School Modernization Project". DC Department of General Services. 
  22. ^ Brown, Emma (March 4, 2014). "Obama announces budget at D.C.'s Powell Elementary". The Washington Post. 
  23. ^ "Breakthrough Montessori". 
  24. ^ "Bridges Public Charter School". 
  25. ^ "Center City Public Charter School – Petworth Campus". 
  26. ^ "E.L. Haynes Public Charter School". 
  27. ^ "Washington Latin Public Charter School". 
  28. ^ Severson, Kim (14 January 2009). "Chefs Settle Down in 'the Real D.C.'". The New York Times. 
  29. ^ STEINHAUER, JENNIFER (20 October 2014). "Washington Has More on Its Plate". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ Hahn, Fritz; Krystal, Becky (9 February 2017). "A guide to eating and drinking in Petworth". The Washington Post. 
  31. ^ "Roosevelt High School Project". DC Department of General Services. 
  32. ^ "MacFarland MS Students Create Mural Memorial for Go-Go Legend". DCPS. 
  33. ^ "An abstract artwork designed to complement a neighborhood's energy". Petworth News. August 11, 2015. 
  34. ^ "New mural on Kansas Ave celebrates the mysteries of nature". Petworth News. July 10, 2016. 
  35. ^ a b c d e f g "DC Inventory of Historic Sites". DC Office of Planning. November 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°57′07″N 77°01′11″W / 38.9519°N 77.0196°W / 38.9519; -77.0196