The Big Picture
Dupont Circle is located in Pierre Charles L'Enfant's "Old City ", yet remained largely undeveloped before the Civil War. Harder to believe, the area once included a brickyard, a slaughterhouse, and even a creek, Slash Run. The Gilded Age gave Dupont Circle its "Millionaires Row," which the Great Depression transformed into "Embassy Row." Not exempt from the citywide decline of the 1960s and 1970s, Dupont Circle was among the first downtown neightborhoods to recover, becoming a center for the city’s bohemian and alternative scenes. Maintained by the National Park Service, the Circle itself is a gathering place for madcap chess players, al fresco dining with friends, and organized viewings of World Cup matches.
Located in Ward 2, Dupont Circle is bordered by Florida Avenue and U Street to the north, 15th Street to the east, M Street to the south, and 22nd Street to the west.
McPherson Square: 10-15 minutes by bus, car, metro
Union Station: 12 minutes by metro
Del Ray: 30 minutes by car or metro
Buses: 37, 42, 43, 90, D2, D6, G2, H1, L1, L2, S2, S4, S9, DC Circulator
Bikeshare Stations: 11
Dupont Circle (Red)
A Special Place
Despite a high concentration of embassies, research institutions and think tanks, Dupont Circle eschews formality for a more artsy and intellectual sensibility. The pace is simultaneously relaxed and ever-changing. Off of major commercial thoroughfares (Connecticut Avenue, P Street, 17th Street), much of the neighborhood is surprisingly peaceful.
It's true: In 1882, Congress renamed Pacific Circle as "Dupont Circle," in honor of Samuel Francis Du Pont, a rear admiral during the Civil War. DuPont family members felt that the original commemorative statue was too modest, so they commissioned the fountain that stands today.
home sweet homes
Queen Anne and Richardson Romanesque Revival rowhouses on the numbered and lettered side streets; condos and apartment buildings most everywhere else.