Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said it takes two minutes to get to downtown Washington from Shepherd Park. It takes 20 minutes or more.
Describing a neighborhood as “friendly” might seem a bit trite, but for Jill Borris, who’s lived in Shepherd Park in Northwest Washington for 16 years, the adjective fits perfectly.
How else to describe a neighborhood, said Borris, where steps from her front door live two childhood friends who surprised her and moved to the community to be near her?
“Having friends since you were five years old is a feat in and of itself,” said Borris, who has lived in a four-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial in Shepherd Park for 17 years, “but ending up on the same street is just incredible.”
Shepherd Park is named after its most famous resident, Alexander “Boss” Shepherd, who served as governor of the District of Columbia for one year in 1873.
Situated in upper Northwest and bordering Rock Creek Park, Shepherd Park offers residents a wide variety of housing styles, from Tudors to bungalows, farmhouses to ramblers, and a collection of brick, stucco and split-level houses, said Marilyn Charity, an agent with Washington Fine Properties.
The community is also close to major public transit lines and is a short car ride away from downtown, making its location a major selling point, Charity said.
“When it’s not rush hour you can get to downtown in 20 minutes,” Charity said. “The best part is that you’re at the most a 10-minute walk to Rock Creek Park, and the neighborhood is totally residential.”
On the cusp of development: Stephen A. Whatley, an advisory neighborhood commissioner who has lived in Shepherd Park for 30 years, said that he and his wife were sold on the neighborhood after discovering the highly rated public schools.
A native Washingtonian, Whatley said that he wanted to stay in the District and became convinced about Shepherd Park after hearing “friends who lived in the neighborhood talk about the community with such an affinity.”
Sandra Raspberry has called her four-bedroom, four-bathroom Normandy-style house in Shepherd Park home for the past 43 years. She said that she struggles to accurately capture how wonderful her neighborhood is. “I can’t begin to describe all of the wonderful things about Shepherd Park,” she said.
“A few years ago during a horrible snowstorm, neighbors shoveled the sidewalks around my house and I was so grateful,” Raspberry said. “People wave to you when you’re out walking and if I haven’t seen my neighbors in a while they’ll come by to check on me. They put my trash can back after the garbage is collected. It’s just a great place to live.”
Shepherd Park is a short drive to restaurants and shops in Silver Spring and Bethesda and close to attractions downtown, Charity said. The neighborhood also will benefit from the planned development of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which borders Shepherd Park along 16th Street. The development plans, including 3.1 million square feet of retail, residential and commercial development, will provide residents with easy access to restaurants and shops, Charity said.
When Gloria Sulton went looking for a new house nearly 50 years ago, she was struck by how many of her must-have qualities Shepherd Park captured. The neighborhood included large, single-family houses, close access to public transportation and a park where she could walk her dog. She and her husband quickly settled on a 2,200-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial and have been happy ever since.
“My son was born a few months after we moved in,” Sulton said. “I always took that as a sign that we made the right decision about where to live.”
Living there: The neighborhood is bordered by Eastern Avenue to the north, Georgia Avenue to the east, the original Walter Reed Army Medical Center to the south and 16th Street to the west.
In the past 12 months, 31 properties have sold in Shepherd Park, ranging from a four-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial for $610,000 to a 4,553-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom contemporary house for $1,575,000, said Charity of Washington Fine Properties.
There are two houses for sale in Shepherd Park, a 2,546-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom rambler for $799,000 and a five-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial for $845,000, Charity said. There are three homes under contract.
Schools: Shepherd Elementary, Deal Middle, Coolidge and Wilson High schools.
Transit: Shepherd Park is serviced by Metro’s S1 bus line and is close to the Silver Spring station on Metro’s Red Line.
Crime: In the past 12 months, there have been 33 robberies, 26 reports of stolen vehicles, 24 burglaries, 16 assaults and one homicide in the police service area covering Shepherd Park, according to D.C. police.