One of two remaining fragments of a formerly contiguous neighborhood around Mount Vernon Square, this residential and commercial enclave derives its origins from scattered growth on what was once the city’s fringe. Many of its oldest buildings are simple, flat-fronted frame houses built by working-class owners. By the Civil War, the area had grown into an economically and racially mixed neighborhood, served by the public market in the square and the streetcar line along 7th Street. Bay-fronted brick and stone rowhouses and fancy mercantile facades on 7th Street date from the prosperous Victorian years. At the same time, poorer residents continued to cluster in modest homes on the narrow side streets cut through large blocks. Most houses were built by their owners, with the notable exception of a full block of 53 houses developed by T.F. Schneider in 1890.
By the early 20th century, the character of the neighborhood began to shift as auto repair shops, laundries, and warehouses sprang up along the increasingly busy New York Avenue traffic artery. The Mount Vernon Square Historic District now reflects the mosaic of overlapping social, racial, and workplace communities that characterize historic Washington. It includes 429 contributing buildings in a variety of architectural styles, dating from about 1845 to 1945.
DC Inventory: July 22, 1999 (effective September 7, 1999)
National Register: September 3, 1999