Washington, D.C. is a city of historic neighborhoods, which have often changed with time to become interesting destinations to visit or set down roots. Georgetown and Glover Park are but two D.C. neighborhoods that are distinctive, historic, and vibrant.
When you think of D.C. neighborhoods, Georgetown may be the first one that comes to mind. Characterized by historic row-homes, cobblestone streets, steep inclines, and nearness to the Potomac River, it is a destination for shopping and nightlife. Today, Georgetown is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in D.C. and the home to many politicians, lobbyists, and wealthy citizens. The main campus of Georgetown University occupies the western edge of the neighborhood and may historic building dot the landscape.
You don’t have to actually live in Georgetown to enjoy shopping at Georgetown Park at Wisconsin and M Street, where you can visit the stores of designers Betsey Johnson, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade, and Ralph Lauren, and others, then dine at a variety of restaurants to site every taste. In homage to Georgetown’s former shipping days, you can cruise the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal on a tour boat or walk or jog along the canal’s adjacent trails.
President John F Kennedy put the spotlight on Georgetown when lived there as a congressman and Senator in a townhouse at 3307 N Street; the area became the scene of many parties that diverted the prominent political nightlife from downtown. However, Georgetown always attracted politicians, from the early days when men like Thomas Jefferson lived there and George Washington drank in its taverns, including the City Tavern, which still exists at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street. Georgetown was the fashion and cultural center of young Washington, D.C. but eventually it lost its luster as wealthy residents moved to new Victorian homes around DuPont Circle. The area fell into disrepair, but has been restored and gentrified.
Property in Georgetown is always in demand, although many of the historic Federal townhouses are small enough that people joke you can stand in the living room and touch both walls with your outstretched arms. It is one of the few areas that was unaffected by the housing slump. Limited new building is currently underway but there are several exciting restorations of historic buildings in progress. The average price of property in Georgetown is often double the average listing price of properties elsewhere in D.C. About 78 percent of properties in the area are single-family homes.
Though its housing prices may not be for the faint of heart or many young first time buyers, there are many affordable properties in the neighboring vicinities. Even those who don’t live in Georgetown (whose boundaries are Whitehaven Street, Rock Creek Park, Potomac River, and the Georgetown University campus), you can live in a neighboring area (such as DuPont, Palisades, Glover Park & others) and be there in a 10-15 minute walk to enjoy its many attractions.
Glover Park, for example, just northwest of Georgetown and west of Observatory Circle, is a tight-knit residential community and a “destination” for those in search of vibrant nightlife options. It is also home to the US Navy Observatory, the Vice-Presidential Mansion, and several embassies, but the young professionals who flooded into the area a few years ago were more interested in nightclubs and trendy new restaurants than embassy tours. This new population, often known as “DINK’s”- double-income-no-kids – tried to blend into a close-knit residential neighborhood with residents of all age.
Part of the long-term appeal of Glover, (pronounced like “clover”), Park stems from the surrounding parks. The community has a very green, suburban feel – with smaller residential streets and a number of shady trees. Many residents enjoy that this community is surprisingly quiet, especially considering its close proximity to the rest of the city. There is a Farmer’s Market and a Whole Foods in town, plus a hardware store that is a member of “A Few Cool Hardware Stores” co-operative that offers residents nearby options for home repair supplies.
Housing in Glover Park is a mix of apartment buildings and porch-front row houses built in the 1930s, and housing is actually very affordable. The neighborhood’s elementary school, Benjamin Stoddert Elementary, is one of the most highly-rated schools in the District; its athletic field is home to the Glover Park Co-ed Softball League, and D.C. Stoddert Soccer. Even though Glover Park does not have a Metro station, several bus routes run through the area and provide access to Georgetown, DuPont and downtown, as well as several subway stations.
Georgetown and Glover Park are D.C. neighborhoods worth a look.