The other side of the Anacostia river in DC gets a lot of bad press. Crime. Poverty. Drugs. You don't hear so much about the goodness of those neighborhoods.
Today Jean and I took a walking tour of the Hillcrest neighborhood in SE DC. It was part of the WalkingTown DC fall tour weekend - with more than 100 walking and biking tours all over the city. Amazing.
We picked the Hillcrest tour for today because, despite having lived in DC for 17 years and really making an effort to explore the city every week, I have never spent much time on the other side of the Anacostia.
I want to spend more time over there.
The tour was great. Here is Jim, our tour guide and local resident, describing part of the neighborhood.
Some fun facts about Hillcrest and SE.
The Southeast quadrant of DC has the most detached homes in DC.
Major residential development began about 1924 - once cars made it easier to get around on the hills of Hillcrest.
Like the rest of Washington, the neighborhood has an interesting racial and ethnic history. It was majority white working-class in the 1960s but rapidly changed over the next couple of decades - going from 82% white in 1950 to 14% white in 1970.
It is nicknamed the "Silver Coast" after a second wave of black professionals rediscovered it in the late 70s and early 80s. DC's "Gold Coast" is around upper 16th Street, NW.
The architecture ranges from bungalows to Dutch colonials to Art Deco and even Sears catalog houses from way back - like this one...
A famouse Art Deco house in Hillcrest was commissioned by a local doctor and designed by John Joseph Earley - whose other projects include the main terminal at National (not Reagan) Airport and my beloved Meridian Hill (Malcolm X) Park - just a couple blocks from me.
He pioneered the bumpy, rocky, exposed concrete construction that you can see at the park and in this house. Plus - love the inlaid Aztec mosaics. Yum!
Check out the area if you get a chance. I am definitely a fan of Hillcrest now.