Created in 1873, LeDroit Park represents an important aspect in the development of Washington. It is an early example of a planned, architecturally unified subdivision. This development of substantial detached and semi-detached homes, designed by one architect, James H. McGill, was packaged by its developers to become an affluent and exclusive subdivision. The architectural style is borrowed from pattern books influenced by A.J. Downing, and the houses are designed in the style of Italian villas, Gothic cottages and many variations in between. Most of the McGill houses were constructed between 1873 and 1877. LeDroit Park presently contains approximately 50 of the original 64 McGill houses. The remaining brick and frame rowhouses were constructed in the late 1880s and 1890s.
LeDroit Park is also important because it represents an early unsuccessful attempt at integration, and it has served as home for many prominent white and black Washingtonians, including many educators at Howard University. Today, LeDroit Park retains much of the same scale and character and most of the architecture that it had at the turn of the century. A walk through of the area reveals many of the original freestanding houses scattered among the slightly later brick and frame rowhouses.
DC designation: November 27, 1973
National Register listing: February 25, 1974