A High-End, Hot and Historic Neighborhood

Walking through the commercial areas of Georgetown like M Street, one may not guess the history behind this neighborhood. Home to many historical landmarks, high-end stores, upscale restaurants and a rich nightlife, Georgetown has made its mark as one of the hot neighborhoods in the District. HistoryGeorgetown was settled by Europeans in 1696 and incorporated as a town in 1751. The origin of Georgetown’s name has long been disputed by historians. Founded by George Beall and George Gordon as the town of George, it’s unknown whether the town was named for its founders or the English King George II.

With its proximity to the Potomac River, the town grew into a thriving port as a key point in the tobacco trade. The incorporation of the town predated the founding of the District of Columbia and wasn’t annexed by the city until 1871. The neighborhood remained separate until 1895. The street names were then converted to fit the names used throughout the District.

LocationLocated in the Northwest quadrant of D.C., Georgetown is one of the larger neighborhoods in the city. Loosely bounded by Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, Montrose Park, Georgetown University and the Potomac River, Georgetown encompasses 10 square miles. Though the neighborhood isn’t exactly metro accessible, the Foggy Bottom- GWU, Rosslyn and Dupont Circle stations aren’t too far away from the commercial areas.

Demographics?Georgetown can definitely be considered an “upscale” neighborhood. With the median income around $110,416 a year and a population of 4,428, Georgetown is an exclusive part of the city. The average price of a single-family home in the heart of the neighborhood was $928,000 in 2005. With those prices, the population isn’t as diverse as some other neighborhoods in the District. Not surprisingly, 85 percent of the population is white, 6.6 percent Asian, 3.7 percent black and 4.2 percent Hispanic. However, a number of black families lived in an area called Herring Hill during the second half of the 1800s, according to the National Park Service. Claims to FameThe neighborhood is peppered with historic sites such as Dumbarton Oaks, Oak Hill Cemetery, Tudor Place, Dumbarton House Museum, Mount Zion Methodist Church and Heritage Center, Old Stone House, Washington Harbor, Georgetown University and The Kreeger Museum. Movies like “Enemy of the State,” “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “The Exorcist” were filmed in Georgetown.

GovernanceGeorgetown is part of Ward 2, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2e and Police Service Area (PSA) 206. Ward 2’s representative on the D.C. Council, which meets every first Tuesday at 10 a.m., is Jack Evans, Chair Pro Tempore. ANC 2e also meets every first Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Georgetown Visitation School, 1524 35th St. N.W. Washington, DC 20007. Lt. Felicia Lucas heads the PSA in the Georgetown community. The PSA has several open meetings a year; its calendar can be accessed at www.mpdc.dc.gov/calendar.

SchoolsThe areas has many schools catering to all ages, including Stevens Elementary, Thomson Elementary, Seaton Elementary, Ross Elementary, Hyde Elementary and Scott Montgomery Elementary School. Three middle schools are Francis Junior High, Shaw Junior High and Hardy (Rosario) Middle School. The only high School is Ellington School of the Arts. A few private schools are also located in the area.

ChurchesThe community has churches for every denomination. Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown Lutheran Church, Georgetown Presbyterian and Georgetown Baptist Church are just a few.

BusinessesShops, restaurants and bars line M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Stores like Puma, ALDO, Adidas, Coach and Club Monaco among others are common for this neighborhood. With Georgetown University nearby, the nightlife in the area is considered exciting. Swanky bars and restaurants throughout the neighborhood create a unique after-hours culture.