Takoma Park is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland. It is a suburb of Washington, D.C., and part of the Washington metropolitan area. Founded in 1883 and incorporated in 1890, Takoma Park, informally called “Azalea City”, is a Tree City USA and a nuclear-free zone. A planned commuter suburb, it is situated along the Metropolitan Branch of the historic Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, just northeast of Washington, D.C., and it borders the neighborhood of Takoma, Washington, D.C. Since 2013, residents of Takoma Park can vote in municipal elections when they turn sixteen. It was the first city in the United States to extend voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds in city elections. Since then, the City of Hyattsville has done the same.
Takoma Park was founded by Benjamin Franklin Gilbert in 1883. It was one of the first planned Victorian commuter suburbs, centered on the B&O railroad station in Takoma, D.C., and bore aspects of a spa and trolley park. Takoma was originally the name of Mount Rainier, from Lushootseed [təqʷúbəʔ] (earlier *təqʷúməʔ), ‘snow-covered mountain’. In response to a wish of Gilbert, the name Takoma was chosen in 1883 by DC resident Ida Summy, who believed it to mean ‘high up’ or ‘near heaven’. The city of Tacoma in Washington State is also named after Mount Takhoma (Mount Rainier). Much of the old town Takoma Park was incorporated into the Takoma Park Historic District; listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The city has experienced substantial gentrification in the 1990s and early 2000s (decade), with many group houses containing accessory apartments being converted back into single-family homes. The majority of the city’s population remain tenants, many of whom live in a cluster of high-rise and mid-rise apartment buildings surrounding Sligo Creek, which cuts a deep valley through the community.