Mount Pleasant Historic District

The diversity of architectural styles and forms in Mount Pleasant reflects the diversity of the community itself.

The Mount Pleasant Historic District is a cohesive residential district illustrating the growth and development of one of Washington, DC's first suburbs. Its significance lies in the period integrity and visual character of its architecture, its successful adaptation of traditional urban design to the natural hilly terrain, and its historical importance which has been well documented by its residents for over 100 years.

Mount Pleasant originated with the large land patents of the 1700's. Located on a high plain extending from Rock Creek east across to today's 13th Street, far from the swamps and marshes of the District's basin, the beautiful wooded area was easily recognized for its contribution to an idyllic lifestyle. But with the city's growth, the advent of the electric streetcar in 1888, and the maturing of Mount Pleasant's own community resources, the area advanced, and by the 1920s Mount Pleasant was densely developed.

Large Revival-style residences command some of the best views and celebrate affluence; carefully sited rowhouses complement the hilly terrain and the architectural style of the more expensive buildings; exceptional townhouses offer a transition from suburban to urban environment; grand and functional apartment structures attest to the sudden growth of the area and the demand for housing; institutional architecture adapt the academic styles and formal scale common to official Washington; charming frame houses reflect the vernacular origins of the early Victorian village. All of these styles and forms coexist in a neighborhood whose visual footprint reflects the intrinsic diversity of Mount Pleasant. The historic district contains approximately 1100 buildings, dating from about 1870 to 1949.

DC Inventory: October 15, 1986 (effective October 26, 1987)
National Register: October 5, 1987



Roughly bounded by 16th Street on the east, Harvard Street on the south, Rock Creek Park on the west, and Piney Branch Park on the north