Dupont Circle is located in Northwest Washington, DC, just north of downtown. The circle itself is a gathering place, park and traffic circle. Dupont Circle Metro Stop is a hub for many Washington commuters and tourists. The area surrounding the circle is a cosmopolitan neighborhood with some of Washington D.C’s finest museums, historic homes and foreign embassies, as well as wonderful ethnic restaurants, shopping and private art galleries.
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The Dupont Circle Historic District is a primarily residential district extending generally in all directions from Dupont Circle. The area was developed in the latter part of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th. When the Dupont Circle area first became a fashionable residential neighborhood some of this community’s wealthiest residents constructed houses here. Two types of housing predominate in the historic district: palatial mansions and freestanding residences built in the styles popular between 1895 and 1910; and three-and-four-story rowhouses, many of which are variations on the Queen Anne
and Richardsonian Romanesque Revival
styles, built primarily before the turn of the century. The mansions line the broad, tree-lined diagonal avenues that intersect at the circle and you’ll find the rowhouses line the grid streets of the historic district. This proximity of house types and street pattern gives the area a unique character.
transportation in and around dupont circle
By the 1920’s, Connecticut Avenue was more commercial in character, hosting numerous shops and office buildings. In the late 1920’s, Connecticut Avenue was widened and increased traffic in the neighborhood and in 1948 medians were installed to help protect the pedestrians from the congestion of traffic with the later additions of traffic signs and lights. In the late 1940’s a tunnel was built beneath Dupont Circle as part of a Capital Transit streetcar project. The tunnels allowed Connecticut Avenue vehicle traffic to pass beneath, helping to alleviate traffic congestion around the circle. When streetcar service ended in 1962, the entrances to the underground station were filled in and paved over, leaving only the traffic tunnel. Today, Dupont Circle is served by the Washington Metro Red Line
at the Dupont Circle Metro station
. There are two very convenient entrances: north of the circle at Q Street NW and south of the circle at 19th Street NW.
In 1871, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
began construction of the traffic circle, then called Pacific Circle, as specified in Pierre Charles L’Enfant’
s plan. On February 25, 1882, Congress renamed the circle to “Dupont Circle”, and authorized a memorial statue of Samuel Francis Du Pont
, in recognition of his service during the Civil War, which was unveiled December 20, 1884, with the circle landscaped with exotic flowers and ornamental trees. Several prominent DuPont family members deemed it too insignificant to honor their ancestor, so they secured permission to move the statue to Rockford Park
in 1917. A new fountain was commissioned by Henry Bacon
and Daniel Chester French
, and in 1920 was places where it still sits in today in Dupont Circle. The carvings features three classical figures symbolizing the sea, the stars and the wind on the fountain’s shaft.
DUPONT CIRCLE IS HOME TO EMBASSIES, CONSULAR SERVICES and private homes
The neighborhood began to change in the 1970’s, taking on a bohemian feel. Renovations of many properties took place in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and continues today. Just northwest of the circle, sits the largest concentration of international embassies. The Thomas T. Gaff House serves as the Colombian ambassador’s residence, and the Walsh-McLean House is home to the Indonesian Embassy. Located on Massachusetts Avenue, east of Dupont Circle is the Clarence Moore House, now known as the Embassy of Uzbekistan, and the Emily J. Wilkins House, which formerly housed the Australian embassy and now is occupied by the Peruvian Chancery. Iraq operates a consular services office in the William J. Boardman House on P Street, giving the neighborhood an extra dash of global flavor.
Dupont Circle homes
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