Correction: A previous version of this story contained a photo of houses located outside of Foxhall Village.
When Pete Ross and his wife, Marsha, bought their house in Foxhall Village in Northwest Washington for $77,500 in 1974, they figured it would be a starter home.
“At the time, Foxhall Village was mostly a rental neighborhood for students from Georgetown,” said Ross, a furniture manufacturer and importer. “We thought it would be a beginner home for us.”
Over the next several years, they watched as more and more people bought homes in the neighborhood. Eventually, rather than move out of the neighborhood, they bought the house next door to theirs, opened up the walls in the basement and first floor, and connected the two houses to accommodate their growing family.
“We have witnessed the creation of a real feeling of community in the neighborhood,” Ross said. “It has gone from being a rental neighborhood to a neighborhood of homeowners who care.”
Housing costs have risen exponentially during that time. Scott Polk of Long & Foster said “a wreck of a three-bedroom home in Foxhall Village will still cost $600,000-plus.”
Living there: The triangular community is bordered by Reservoir Road to the north, Glover Archbold Park to the east and Foxhall Road to the west.
In the past 12 months, two houses sold, for $925,000 and $995,000, according to Polk. Nine townhouses also changed hands, priced from $720,000 to $998,000. Two three-level, semi-detached townhouses are on the market, for $870,000 and $998,000.
With its brick-and-stucco Tudor-style rowhouses and English accents such as curved chimney pots and limestone balustrades, Foxhall Village is a place that residents say feels less like the heart of downtown Washington and more like the English countryside.
Most of the 300-plus homes in the small neighborhood near Georgetown were designated as part of the Foxhall Village Historic District in 2007, and most of the homes retain the quaint charm they had when they were first built in the 1920s and 1930s.
And with Glover Archbold Park directly to the east, it’s easy to forget that the quiet, residential neighborhood is in the city at all.
“Georgetown is beautiful, but you don’t have that much green space in Georgetown,” said Ross, 66, a current board member and former president of the Foxhall Community Citizens Association. “We’re bounded by the park on one side, and the circles serve as play areas for our kids. At Hardy field, you’ve got a beautiful park for soccer, a playground and basically all the other suburban amenities you could want smacked into the middle of the city.”
English roots: Foxhall Village was developed in the early 1900s on a 60-acre farm owned by Henry Foxall, according to a brochure from the D.C. Historic Preservation Office.
Harry K. Boss, president of Boss & Phelps, which developed much of Foxhall Village, found inspiration for the neighborhood’s design on a trip to England in the 1920s, according to the brochure. The herringbone brickwork, decorative concrete shields and polished-brass hardware that adorn most of the houses are all aimed at capturing the beauty of an English village, according to the brochure.
Green (and pink) space: Ross said the neighborhood’s cherry blossoms rival those ringing the Tidal Basin and lining the streets of Kenwood, the Bethesda neighborhood known for the blooms.
“The cherry blossoms on Surrey Lane are the prettiest I’ve seen,” he said.
Foxhall Village also offers easy access to Glover Archbold Park, the Capital Crescent Trail and the C&O Canal.
A plethora of schools: Ample parks, fields and playgrounds are part of what makes Foxhall Village popular among young families. Ross, whose five children all attended Georgetown Day School, said the neighborhood is “in the center of the best schools in Washington, D.C.,” with multiple private schools in walking distance.
These days, many parents opt to send their kids to Key Elementary School, Ross said. Hardy Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School also serve children in the neighborhood.
“The public schools in our area are very good, too,” he said. “In this neighborhood, you pretty much can’t lose.”
Occasional strained relations with Georgetown University are among the only downsides of living in Foxhall Village, Ross said.
The university’s most recent 10-year plan led to debate in the neighborhood about the effect the university’s planned expansion would have on traffic patterns. Residents worked with university officials to alleviate concerns, leading to the formation of the Georgetown Community Partnership, a group made up of university officials, members of the Foxhall Community Citizens Association and other community representatives.
But Ross said the benefits of having Georgetown nearby make up for the occasional conflicts.
“Sure, we have our spats with Georgetown,” Ross said. “But for the most part, it’s wonderful to have a major prestigious university right in our neighborhood.”
Crime: In the past 12 months, there were five burglaries, five thefts, one “assault with a dangerous weapon/excluding gun” and no homicides, according to the D.C. police department.
Transportation: The community is served by Metrobus’s D5, D6 and G2 lines.
Amy Reinink is a freelance writer.