Neighborhood Profile: Dupont Circle

The Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC has seen something of a Renaissance since the mid-1990’s that has mirrored the changes in the city as a whole. With an unbeatable location bordering downtown DC, its historic architecture and walkable lifestyle, Dupont has become one of the most sought after addresses for urban dwellers.

Dupont Circle Real Estate

Dupont Circle

As an established neighborhood, it is extremely rare to find “new” construction in Dupont Circle, unless you count renovations of existing rowhouses and buildings.  If you’re looking for detached single family homes, you’ll need to move further north—the few remaining mansions are generally embassies or offices.

Expect to find studios starting near $200,000 and one bedroom condos in the upper $300s and lower 400s, while an individual parking space can go for $50,000 or more.  Townhomes generally range from $800,000 to nearly $3M.

Walkability
Dupont Circle is an ideal walking community, scoring a perfect Walk Score™ of 100.  Connecticut Avenue is the main commercial strip with locally owned and independent stores like Kramerbooks&Afterwards Café holding their own and still outnumbering the national chains. 

The neighborhood is home to a number of museums, embassies, and offices with restaurants and nightlife weaved throughout the neighborhood.   For the carless, Metro and Zipcar® are readily available.


History of Dupont Circle 
While Dupont Circle appeared on Pierre L’Enfant’s original designs for the Capital City, its development followed Logan Circle and the port of Georgetown.  The first of many large manses were constructed in the mid 1870s, which began a movement of the wealthy from Logan Circle toward Dupont’s wide avenues and the largest homes in the city.  Reminiscent of today’s suburban developments, town homes for the upper-middle class were built on speculation along neighboring streets, usually an entire block at once.

The marble fountain at the center of the Circle replaced a statue of Civil War Admiral Francis Dupont in 1923.  The landscaped park has witnessed many changes in the neighborhood.  What began as an entirely residential circle transformed into a more commercial district during the 1920’s.  The park surrounding the fountain was the center of protests, hippies, gays and the artistic community.

The underground trolley lanes opened in 1949, followed by the automobile underpass a year later.  The early 1970’s brought the arrival of metro and an effort by many to rehabilitate the decaying historic homes, which resulted in the areas historic district designation in 1977.  

Boundaries
The Dupont Circle Citizen’s Association defines the boundaries of the neighborhood as “15th Street on the east (except between U and S, where we extend to 14th St.), K Street on the south, Rock Creek Park on the west, and Florida Avenue/S Street on the north.”  However, as Logan Circle has evolved into its own neighborhood to the east, 16th street is a better dividing line between the two.

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