The neighborhood developed mostly after the Civil War as an economically and racially mixed community, with buildings of diverse quality in a rich variety of architectural styles. Rowhouses dominate a streetscape punctuated by churches, apartment buildings, and a few commercial strips. Owner-built homes are scattered throughout, but most of the housing stock is speculative construction, reflecting late-19th century mass-production technology and a taste for more elaborate building form and embellishment. There are approximately 450 contributing buildings, dating from c.1833 to 1932.
DC Inventory: July 22, 1999 as part of an expanded district including the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court HD (effective September 7, 1999)
National Register: September 9, 1999 as Mount Vernon West Historic District
DC designation amended December 16, 1999 to create a separate Shaw Historic District