The Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Petworth may not have the fanfare of some of its bordering sister communities, but to the well-informed local, it is a hidden gem among the District’s defined neighborhoods. And for those homebuyers seeking true value for their dollar, it can provide exactly the kind of solace for those worn out by an aggressive housing market, giving buyers a real opportunity to purchase in a part of the city that is being reborn into something special.
Although Petworth was not included as a part of L’Enfant’s original plans for the city, it has existed since the late 1800’s. The appeal started when President Lincoln used a private cabin on one of two estates that would be combined to become Petworth as a Presidential retreat. Developers realized its potential and decided to create a 200 acre expansion for a total of $40,000 in 1889.
Petworth was conceived as a resident’s dream, marrying proximity to downtown with the openness of the space using a row-house architectural system facing wide avenues and circles to increase its appeal. The neighborhood didn’t truly blossom until the street car line running from downtown to Silver Spring, Maryland began making stops in the burgeoning Petworth, becoming an early century commuter’s lifestyle possible. From then until the mid-century it flourished, but like most district communities, the second half of the 20th century was cruel, as the effects of economic hardship became the sign of a troubling period of the District’s history stemming from the riots of the late 1960’s.
It is, without a doubt, DC’s affordable and hidden gem!