The vibrant stretch along 17th Street
Dupont Circle is a traffic circle, park, neighborhood, and historic district in Northwest Washington, D.C. The traffic circle is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue NW, Connecticut Avenue NW, New Hampshire Avenue NW, P Street NW, and 19th Street NW. The Dupont Circle neighborhood is bounded approximately by 16th Street NW to the east, 22nd Street NW to the west, M Street NW to the south, and Florida Avenue NW to the north. The local government Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2B) and the Dupont Circle Historic District have slightly different boundaries.
The Real World decided to base its DC season there, its bars and restaurants are perpetually buzzing, and it is one of a handful of DC neighborhoods that people around the country are familiar with. Arguably one of DC’s most popular places to live, Dupont Circle is a hub for the hip, international, and the young at heart.
With some of the city’s most beautiful homes lining its leafy streets, Dupont Circle offers neighborhood residents a walkable lifestyle that is hard to match anywhere else in DC. But naturally, an area that is a great place to live and hang out comes with a price tag: Dupont Circle is one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods to buy or rent a home.
Who Lives There
Dupont has a relatively diverse population. Many of the homeowners are long-timers who settled in the neighborhood decades ago when crime was a serious issue. There perseverance has paid off as they now live in townhouses worth $1 to 2 million.
The majority of residents, however, are young, well-educated professionals—including a large international contingent—who work for nearby think tanks, embassies, government agencies and the World Bank. Generally childless and often planning on spending only a few years working in Washington, the area’s twenty and thirty-something residents have the time, interest, and disposable income to fully indulge in the area’s many offerings. In the process, they contribute a vibrant energy to the neighborhood.
The Real Estate
A densely-built region with little space to spare, there’s not much in Dupont that’s brand new. Homes in the area are a mix of brick row houses and mid-sized apartment buildings.
The most common properties in the neighborhood are condos, most of which are in converted row houses that have been divided into two, three or four units. The larger multi-unit buildings of the neighborhood may offer cheaper condo alternatives than the rowhouse conversions, but because most were built in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, many have common spaces that reflect the time they were constructed and don’t share the charm of hundred-year-old row houses.
Individual row houses—mostly built around the turn of the century, but since renovated or at least updated—do come up for sale, but with a million-plus price point that puts them out of reach for many buyers.
Rentals are widely available in the area; most units are in buildings housing 20-60 units, but English basements are fairly common as well. The rent on a one-bedroom ranges from $1,700 to $2,500.
Dupont Circle has never been a hub for young families, but Area Neighborhood Commission Chair Mike Silverstein said that’s changing as some of the city’s public schools improve.
“There’s a surprising growing baby boom in the area, and a waiting list for the preschool at Ross Elementary,” Silverstein told UrbanTurf.
Ross, which has a new, environmentally-friendly playground built through funds raised by parents and neighbors, is one of two elementary schools in the area. The other is Francis Stevens, which tends to have less parental involvement but boasts a young principal determined to boost the school’s performance.
Nonetheless, the neighborhood is geared more for childless professionals than families: yards are small, and while green space is available (particularly in nearby Rock Creek Park), playgrounds are hard to come by.
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