The Big Picture
At the turn of the 19th century, Capitol Hill was hardly more than a boarding house district for members of Congress. Construction of both the Navy Yard and the Marine Barracks later brought tradesmen, followed by families, shops and churches. Divided after the Civil War along racial and economic lines, the neighborhood was also among the city's first to have electricity and piped water. Capitol Hill is still home away from home for an estimated one third of Congress, and a lot of Hill staffers enjoy the proximity the many office buildings at the US Capitol complex. Residential construction and renovations are happening at a brisk pace.
Located in Ward 6, Capitol Hill is bordered by Constitution, Massachusetts, and Maryland Avenues to the north, 13th Street to the east, Virginia Avenue to the south, and South Capitol Street to the west.
McPherson Square: 20 minutes by Metro
Union Station: 15-25 minutes by foot
FedEx Field: 25 minutes by car
Buses: 30N, 30S, 32, 34, 36, 90, 92, DC Circulator
Bikeshare Stations: 8
Capitol Hill South, Eastern Market (Blue, Orange, Silver)
A Special Place
Pennsylvania Avenue and 8th Street SE ("Barracks Row") are the main commercial corridors, beloved Eastern Market (dating from 1873) is a citywide draw, and the concentration of national chains remains enviably low.
It's true: Before "Capitol Hill" came into common usage, Pierre L'Enfant and others referred to the land around the future "Congress House" as "Jenkin's Heights." However, the historical record is not totally clear as to who Jenkins actually was.
home sweet homes
Historic rowhouses make up the majority of the housing in the area, and the architectural diversity is tremendous: Federal, Greek, Revival, Italianate, 19th century pressed brick. There are also some apartment buildings and new condominiums here and there.