Florida Avenue was Washington City’s northern boundary until 1871, and the area beyond it was mostly rural until the last decade of the 19th century. Development began shortly after the arrival of a streetcar line along North Capitol Street in 1888. Over the next two decades, the blocks between Florida Avenue and McMillan Reservoir, a mile north, were almost fully built out. Real estate developers inserted racial covenants into real estate deeds to ensure that only white people lived in Bloomingdale. This was a cost-free and legal means of maximizing the new neighborhood's market value to white homebuyers.