Your Destination Guide to Washington DC

Destination Guide DC - Your Destination Guide to Washington, DC

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Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights
Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights is a historic residential neighborhood just a mile north of the White House which, in the early 20th century, was home to some of the wealthiest and influential people in Washington, including two justices and author Sinclair Lewis. It grew into a thriving urban district and was home to Duke Ellington, who purchased his first home here in the 1930s. In fact, the 14th Street corridor between Irving Street and Park Road in the middle of Columbia Heights was one of the city's most prominent retail and entertainment centers.

After the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, the community's fortunes took an abrupt turn when riots and violence destroyed so many homes and stores that whole blocks were left vacant for decades.

Like other areas of the city, however, Columbia Heights has experienced urban revitalization and planning, kicked off when a new Metro station opened in 1999. Businesses and residents began to move into the area, which is again a thriving commercial and residential area. However, unlike other areas that have experienced revitalization, such as Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights still maintains housing affordable for the middle class, and is now broadly considered one of Washington's most diverse neighborhoods – an urban planning success.

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