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Logan Circle is a traffic circle, neighborhood, and historic district in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. The primarily residential neighborhood includes two historic districts, properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and sites designated D.C. Historic Landmarks. It is the only major circle downtown that remains entirely residential.
Logan Circle Historic District
The Logan Circle Historic District is an eight-block area surrounding the circle, containing 135 late-19th-century residences designed predominantly in the Late Victorian and Richardsonian Romanesque styles of architecture. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 30, 1972. The former home of Mary McLeod Bethune, an African American educator, author, and civil rights leader who founded the National Council of Negro Women, is located at 1318 Vermont Avenue NW, one block south of the circle. The Second Empire-style building is a designated National Historic Site and houses the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum and the National Archives for Black Women’s History.
Fourteenth Street Historic District
In addition to the Logan Circle Historic District, the neighborhood includes the much larger Fourteenth Street Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 9, 1994. The district’s approximately 765 contributing properties are considered historically significant because they represent residential and commercial development resulting from one of the earliest streetcar lines in Washington, D.C., the 14th Street streetcar line, installed by the Capital Traction Company in the 1880s.
The Logan Circle neighborhood, situated between the Dupont Circle and Shaw neighborhoods, is bordered by S Street to the north, 10th Street to the east, 16th Street to the west, and M Street to the south. The traffic circle is the intersection of 13th Street, P Street, Rhode Island Avenue, and Vermont Avenue. The National Park Service maintains the land located within the traffic circle, a park measuring 360 feet (110 m) in diameter, furnished with wooden benches, decorative lampposts, an iron fence, and concrete sidewalks.
- WMATA Metrobuses
- DC Circulator
- Smartbike station at 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW.
- 5 blocks to McPherson Square Metro Station (Blue/Orange Line)
- 6 blocks to Dupont Circle Metro Station (Red Line)
- 7 blocks to Farragut North Metro Station (Red Line),
- 6 blocks to Shaw/Howard Metro Station (Green/Yellow Line)
- 7 blocks to U Street Metro Station (Green/Yellow Line).
During the Civil War, present-day Logan Circle was home to Camp Barker, former barracks converted into a refugee camp for newly freed slaves from nearby Virginia and Maryland. In the 1870s, streets, elm trees, and other amenities were installed by Washington Mayor Alexander Robey Shepherd, who encouraged the development of the area. Streetcar tracks were laid into what was then a very swampy area north of downtown Washington, to encourage development of the original Washington City Plan. As a result, the area saw development of successive blocks ofVictorian row houses marketed to the upper middle class, which sought to give Washington the reputation, modeled after European capitals, of a city of broad boulevards and well-manicured parks. Many of the larger and more ornate homes came with carriage houses and attached servant’s quarters, which were later converted to apartments and rooming houses as the upper middle class moved elsewhere.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Logan Circle, although dominated by Victorian homes which had survived mostly untouched by redevelopment or riots, was considered by many unsafe due to overt drug use and prostitution that existed in the neighborhood. During this period, property values in the area increased, while issues of homelessness in the area came to the forefront; 14th Street, NW became widely viewed as Washington’s red light district. It also became a haven for theater companies. The Central Union Mission’s longtime facility in Logan Circle was sold in 2008. Redevelopment plans include new office space or luxury residential units.
During the 2000s, the area gentrified and housing costs sharply increased after derelict buildings were torn down or remodeled. The commercial corridors along 14th Street and P Street underwent significant revitalization, and are now home to a variety of retailers, restaurants, art galleries, live theater, and nightlife venues. A watershed event in the development of the neighborhood was the opening of a Whole Foods Market two blocks from Logan Circle in December 2000, on a site previously occupied by an abandoned service garage; it is now one of the chain’s highest grossing markets. Gentrification in Logan Circle has resulted in a dramatic change of neighborhood demographics; since the 1990s, thousands of white young adults have moved into the neighborhood, while thousands of black adults have moved out of the neighborhood.
- Entire historical article was retrieved from Logan Circle – Wikipedia
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