Truxton Circle

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Truxton Circle
Winter street scene in Truxton Circle
Winter street scene in Truxton Circle
Truxton Circle within the District of Columbia
Truxton Circle within the District of Columbia
Coordinates: 38°54′40″N 77°00′32″W / 38.911056°N 77.008972°W / 38.911056; -77.008972Coordinates: 38°54′40″N 77°00′32″W / 38.911056°N 77.008972°W / 38.911056; -77.008972
CountryUnited States
DistrictWashington, D.C.
WardWard 5
 • CouncilmemberKenyan McDuffie

Truxton Circle is a neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C., bordered by New Jersey Avenue to the west, Florida Avenue to the north, New York Avenue to the south, and North Capitol Street to the east. Politically, it is partially in Ward 5. It is bordered on the north by Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park, to the east by Eckington, to the west by Shaw and Mt. Vernon Square Historic District, and the south by NoMa. Named for a traffic circle that was demolished in 1947, the neighborhood is reclaiming its identity after decades of being presumed nameless.


A traffic circle was constructed at the intersection of Florida Avenue and North Capitol Street around 1900.[1] The circle was named Truxton Circle, after Navy Commodore Thomas Truxtun.[1] A fountain was moved from the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and M Street NW to Truxton Circle in 1901.[2][3]

A police officer conducted traffic at the traffic circle until a traffic light was installed there in 1925.[4]

Because the traffic circle was a site of traffic jams and traffic accidents, it was demolished in 1947 at a cost of $500,000.[1][5] The adjacent fountain was removed at the same time.[1]

As the traffic circle slipped into history, so did the identity of the predominantly African-American neighborhood. It was sometimes lumped in with Shaw, or mistaken for Eckington to the north, or called by the dubious name of "Florida Park," but most residents considered it nameless.[citation needed]

The neighborhood of Truxton Circle contains late 19th-century houses and historical schools, including Armstrong Manual Training School (where Duke Ellington graduated) and the original Dunbar High School, the first public high school for black students in the United States. Along with Armstrong, the former John Mercer Langston School, John Fox Slater Elementary School, and the Margaret Murray Washington School buildings are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood has several parks and playgrounds, such as Truxton Park, which lies at the corner of First Street and Florida Avenue, New York Avenue Playground at the corner of First Street and N Street, and Bundy Playground between O Street and P Street.

Political boundaries and civic associations[edit]

A majority of Truxton Circle is defined as within Ward 5 of the city, with the southeast corner bounded by Kirby St and N St part of Ward 6. After the 2012 redistricting, the Ward 5 portions moved from ANC-5C to ANC-5E. The neighborhood is now served by two Single-Member Districts, 5E05 (south of Q St) and 5E06 (north of Q St and shared with Bloomingdale).[6]

Truxton Circle is home to two civic associations, the Bates Area Civic Association, which covers the portion north of P St NW, and the Hanover Civic Association, which covers the portions between New Jersey Avenue and North Capitol NW and south of O St NW.


  1. ^ a b c d "Truxton Circle Hazard To End This Summer". Evening Star. March 24, 1947. p. 5.
  2. ^ "M Street Fountain Moved to New Site". The Washington Post. April 23, 1901. p. 10.
  3. ^ Mr. MacFarland Their Guest: Commends Interest of Citizens' Association in Public Affairs". The Washington Post. May 28, 1901. p. 8.
  4. ^ "Auto Signal Lights to Be Resady Dec. 15: Sixteenth Street Crossings and Truxton Circle to Be Equipped". The Washington Post. November 14, 1925. p. 20.
  5. ^ "D.C. Spending Millions to Solve Problem of L'Enfant's Circles". Evening Star. February 20, 1949. p. 4.
  6. ^ "ANC 5E Map" (PDF). Retrieved 31 December 2012.

External links[edit]