The Big Picture
Once know simply as "Uptown," Shaw dates from freed slave encampments on the rural outskirts of the city; its namesake was one Robert Gould Shaw, a colonel in the Union Army. Shaw is book-ended north by Howard University and south by the Washington Convention Center. 7th Street was traditionally the main commercial thoroughfare; nearby U Street is now even more active.
Spanning parts of Wards 1, 2 and 6, Shaw is bordered by U Street and Florida Avenue to the north, New Jersey Avenue to the east, M Street to the south, and 11th street to the west.
McPherson Square: 20-25 minutes by bus
Department of Agriculture: 20 minutes by metro
Hyattsville: 20 minutes by car
Buses: 52, 53, 54, 70, 79, 90, 92, 96, G2
Bikeshare Stations: 3
Shaw-Howard, Mt. Vernon Square/7th Street-Convention Center (Yellow, Green)
A Special Place
Shaw enjoyed an intellectual and cultural renaissance even before Harlem's, and counts Duke Ellington as a native son. While there remain many second- and even third-generation families, newly arrived professionals and creatives are in the ascendent. Housing and retail are revitalizing around hubs such as Blagden Alley and the historic O Street market.
It's true: Members of the Ethiopian American community have lobbied the City to designate a once desolate block of 9th Street "Little Ethiopia."
home sweet homes
Shaw consists mainly of gridded streets and smaller Victorian rowhouses. Newer developments, including modern loft and luxury condominiums, are beginning to line the main thoroughfares.