The area now designated as the Takoma Park Historic District served as the first commuter suburb in the area and was originally located on approximately 100 acres of land around the B&O Railroad tracks. It was founded and developed as a suburb by Benjamin F. Gilbert in 1883, but Gilbert chose to ignore jurisdictional lines. As a result, the original town of Takoma Park is located partially in the District of Columbia, partially in Montgomery County, Maryland, and partially in Prince George's County, Maryland.
Takoma Park is significant for the quality of its architecture. The suburb was planned with large detached houses set back from the building line and villas and cottages designed to include verandas, large lawns, and privacy. Various architectural styles are on display in Takoma, including the Stick, Shingle, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Bungalow styles.
Economic changes throughout the twentieth century resulted in scaled-down lots and smaller houses. In large part, these structures resemble the bungalows constructed in earlier years and are set back from the street. Rather than appearing discordant, however, these later structures maintain the rhythm and low scale of the detached single-family houses that characterize the suburb.
The Takoma Park Historic District contains approximately 160 contributing buildings, dating from about 1883 to 1940.
DC Inventory: September 18, 1980 (effective November 28, 1980)
National Register: June 30, 1983