LeDroit Park Historic District

The subdivision of LeDroit Park is located in the northwest sector of the city, to the south of Howard University, and just north of Florida Avenue, the original L'Enfant boundary.

Established in 1873, LeDroit Park represents an important aspect of 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 intended by its developers as 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 walkthrough of the area reveals many of the original freestanding houses scattered among the slightly later brick and frame rowhouses.

DC Inventory: November 27, 1973
National Register: February 25, 1974



Roughly bounded by Rhode Island and Florida Avenues on the south, Howard University on the west, Elm Street on the north, and 2nd Street NW on the east