DuPont Has Us Spinning in Circles

Posted by Lise | Filed under: Howe's List, Notable Places

You may know that Dupont Circle is THE PLACE TO GO for a snowball fight, but did you know that the history of Dupont Circle is not as old as the rest of the city? and that it wasn’t even called Dupont Circle originally?  It was supposed to be called Pacific Circle!   The intersection of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and  New Hampshire Avenues with Nineteenth and P Streets was there  on Pierre L’Enfant’s 1791 plan for the city, but the land that is Dupont Circle today was not part of the original purchase of land by George Washington for the Federal City.

The city of Washington remained small and didn’t start moving in the direction of Dupont Circle until after the Civil War.  Dupont Circle was wooded, marshy,  and home to large country estates, such as Kalorama, until the 1870s.  area was designated Dupont Circle in honor of Francis DuPont in 1884 when a statue of the Civil War  hero was erected in its center and the parkland around it created.

The development of Dupont Circle began in the mid-1870s and wealthy DC residents moved to the neighborhood.  Former and future presidents, foreign dignitaries, wealthy industrialists, and socialites built large mansions along grand avenues in a scale never seen before in DC. Exclusive shops opened along Connecticut Avenue, and a new neighborhood was born.  In 1923 the Dupont statue was replaced by a large marble fountain designed by Daniel Chester French.

This demographic diversity remains today.  Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a luxury home buyer, there is a place for you in Dupont Circle. With large single family townhouses and small condos, Dupont Circle offers an assortment of housing alternatives for you.  Within an easy walk of George Washington University, the World Bank, K Street with its law firms, and the White House too, there are lots of people looking for homes in Dupont Circle; Just give the Lise Howe Team a call to start your search!

Spend a great Sunday morning at the Farmer's Market!

A DON’T MISS EVENT- To me, the best way to start a Sunday morning is with the Farmers’ Market at Dupont Circle in the parking lot behind the PNC bank (formerly the Riggs Bank).  Cheese, flowers, bread, tomatoes, fresh fruit – they are all there and waiting for you to bring them home for a great Sunday dinner with friends! Add a bottle of wine and you have a perfect meal!

A DON’T MISS RESTAURANT – I confess that my favorite way to spend an afternoon is in a bookstore – and one that serves a Sunday brunch is not to be missed. What better than to drop your purchases from the Farmers Market in  your car (or tuck them into your French shopping bag) and head to Kramerbooks for a delicious brunch  at Afterwords and an hour spent looking at all their new titles in the bookstore.  Yes, I confess that sometimes I go home and buy the same title for my Nook so that I am never without a book – but my husband still buys books!   I love the Huevos Rancheros or the brie, basil and tomato omelette, but you should go to brunch and figure out your favorite! Tucked in back of the bookstore with a wall of glass it is a cozy spot for brunch or dinner!

THE OLDEST PROPERTY IN DUPONT CIRCLE CURRENTLY  LISTED- CHECK IT OUT!

The Living Room of Unit 1, 1819 19 St NW as noted by Lise Howe, Coldwell Banker

I am a huge lover of old properties and this one is “sort of” old! – Unit 1 at 1819 19th Street is listed for $599,oo0 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo with 1137 square feet of space.  The listing agent describes this as a stunning 2 bedroom/2 bath in a beautiful 1855 mansion with PARKING! 3 exposures, 11 windows, hardwood floors throughout, tons of closet space, stainless/granite kitchen. Charming turret. Private front and rear entrances, small self-managed condo with low fee, pet friendly, walk to everything. Metro 3 blocks away.  1855 – How can you not love that? (Although the tax record says that the building was built in 1885, which is more likely since Dupont Circle was built until after the Civil War!) and the listing agent neglects to mention that it is a ground floor unit with those funky windows at the top of the room – oh well – it still is a touch of history!

A DON’T MISS STORE – SECOND EDITION, DUPONT CIRCLE

Keeping with my love of bookstores, I heartily recommend that you include a stop at Second Edition just off DupontCircle at 20th and P Streets.  I have gotten some wonderful first editions as Christmas gifts or housewarming gifts for family and clients.  There is something wonderful (at least to me) about giving an old book to a new friend – sort of continuing the circle of life!  They have a great collection of old cookbooks so you can find that cookbook that your aunt always used but you didn’t get from her or an old photography book by a master  from days gone by!

DID YOU KNOW???? That before the development of the present Dupont Circle, that the land was occupied by large country estates such as Kalorama, built in 1807.  Kalorama, owned by Joel Barlow,  occupied over 100 acres of agricultural lands and landscaped lawns with a large home.  The Kalorama estate remained along Connecticut Avenue until almost 1900 and had access from Connecticut Avenue via a front gate with gatekeeper’s cottage.  Guests at Kalorama included Thomas Jefferson and Robert Fulton.  During the Civil War it was occupied by an Illinois regiment and then became a smallpox hospital.   In 1865, some of the land was sold to raise money to restore the mansion.  That land was developed for homes along Connecticut Avenue.

Whether you are looking for a cute condo in Dupont Circle, a single family home in Bethesda close to Whitman High School, or a townhouse in Old Town Alexandria, the Lise Howe Team is here for you. With many years experience. knowledge of the whole DC metro area, and a professional approach to real estate service, It is truly HOWE REAL ESTATE SHOULD BE!

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28 Responses

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