The Big Picture
Originally located along Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington's Chinese community was displaced farther north by the development of the Federal Triangle government office complex. The 1968 riots set the stage for a transformation that began with the completion of the MCI Center in 1997 (now Capital One Arena). Revitalization of Mount Vernon Triangle began in the early 2000s, and is today home to a growing number of people who live and work in the city.
Mostly in Ward 2 with a small part in Ward 6, and considered as one contiguous entity, Chinatown and Mount Vernon Square/Triangle are bordered by M Street and New York Avenue to the north, New Jersey Avenue and 3rd Street to the east, F Street to the south, and 10th Street to the west.
McPherson Square: 10-15 minutes by foot
George Washington University: 15 minutes by metro
Reagan National Airport: 25 minutes by metro
Buses: 42, 52, 54, 63, 64, 70, 79, 82, 84, D4, P6, X9, DC Circulator
Bikeshare Stations: 12
Gallery Place - Chinatown (Red, Yellow, Green), Mount Vernon Square - 7th Street (Yellow, Green)
A Special Place
If you want very-center-of-the-city convenience and relish bustling streets and sidewalks day and night, Chinatown is downtown living taken to the ultimate degree. The (few) sidestreets of Mount Vernon Square that are still residential are much quieter. Meanwhile, Mount Vernon Triangle reflects DC's unique mix of historic and modern buildings; longtime and new residents; and diverse cultures, restaurants, and experiences.
It's true: Chinatown's Friendship Archway counts 7000 tiles and 272 painted dragons in the style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Present-day Mount Vernon Triangle was featured on the L'Enfant Plan for the city, although it was north of the populated areas at the time and remained largely unsettled.
home sweet homes
Almost entirely new high-rise condominiums in Chinatown. The same is true for most of Mount Vernon Square and Triangle, although you might find a vintage Victorian, especially in the designated Historic District surrounding K and 5th Streets.