Places are often named after obvious geographic features. For example, Twinbrook, in Rockville, Md., reflects two streams that flowed across the original community.
So it’s not surprising that Colonial Village in Northwest Washington is a community of predominantly Colonial-style houses. The stately redbrick, painted-brick and stone single-family homes sit on gently rolling tree-lined streets that curve with the natural topography. The neighborhood is nestled alongside Rock Creek Park on the north, south and western edges.
This is a “tranquil, suburban retreat in the city that’s friendly without being intrusive,” said Ed Atkins, who along with his wife, Vera, has lived there 20 years. Atkins is a member of the Shepherd Park Citizens Association board.
“It sort of has a country feel to it. You don’t feel like you’re in the city,” said Phyllis Caudle Green, a 27-year resident who was elected commissioner representing Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 4A01 in November.
“Colonial Village is a beautiful well-kept secret with many palatial homes, some with swimming pools and most with beautiful lawns,” she said. “Many houses back up to the park or when residents walk out the front door they face the park.”
“When I was campaigning one of my neighbors said, ‘We really don’t have any problems here except the deer and raccoons.’ The biggest complaint was how to keep deer out of geranium bushes in the summer,” said Green.
“We cooperate with each other. We chip in to help and watch out for our elderly neighbors. When people are away we watch their house and pick up newspapers,” said Atkins. “When my wife and I were both sick, our neighbor made us a pot of chicken soup.”
Shaped like a butterfly: Colonial Village and is home to roughly 1,500 residents. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) bought a house there last year.
The community is shaped like a butterfly and sits practically at the northern tip of Northwest blending with North Portal Estates on the north and Shepherd Park on the east. In fact, the three neighborhoods are so closely entwined they share community news and views via the quarterly Shepherd Park News.
The neighborhood has been consistent for a long time. “We don’t really see a lot of changes,” said Green. “People don’t divide up property for other housing.”
“There are families whose children have moved back into the neighborhood and there are some parents who’ve passed down their house to their children,” said Carlton Terry, a native Virginian who has lived there with his wife, Amelia Rosete-Terry, since 1994.
“We’re very blessed to have bought this home when we did,” he said. “It’s a neighborhood off the beaten track. A lot of folks don’t even know about it. Not a lot of traffic comes through. You can count the number of cars during the day.”
Randall Clarke and his wife, Vanessa Versailles-Clarke, who have a 4-year-old daughter, have lived in Colonial Village for more than nine years, considered a short time. “We have neighbors [who’ve been] here since 1962 and we had another from 1959, but she’s now in a nursing home. That history attracted us,” he said.
“We feel like we found a gem that a lot of people didn’t know was there,” he added.
The Clarkes say they love the proximity to Rock Creek Park. “We’re fans of the hiking trails,” he said. “Some are immediately accessible to the neighborhood. And Beach Drive is closed weekends so people ride bikes on it. You can’t get a prettier drive.”
Shopping, dining: It’s wholly residential, though services are barely a stone’s throw away. “Living here is a great mix of worlds,” said Clarke. “We have peace and quiet but are still in the city with a lot of conveniences and transportation options.”
The Blairs Shopping Center on East-West Highway by Colesville Road is minutes away over the line in Silver Spring. There’s Giant Food/Pharmacy, cleaners, barbershop and Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Downtown Bethesda, with dozens of shops, restaurants and service outlets, is also close.
Living there: Colonial Village, Zip code 20012, is in the northern tip of Northwest bordered on the north, south and west by Rock Creek Park. On the east it’s bounded by 16th Street.
All sales were for single-family houses. According to Long & Foster sales associate Larry Bivins, four properties are for sale, ranging from a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with a one-car garage for $819,000 to a seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom house for $1,599,000.
Three properties are under contract, ranging from a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house for $619,900 to a six-bedroom, four-bathroom home for $810,000, which is a short sale.
In the past year, nine properties have sold, ranging from a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home for $705,000 to a six-bedroom, eight-bathroom house for $1.8 million.
Schools: Shepherd Elementary, Deal Middle, Wilson High.
Transit: From Colonial Village, it’s a short commute to downtown D.C., and Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase Circle and Bethesda are “just a straight shot,” said Atkins. “There’s always a bus on 16th Street, and we’re a 10-minute walk to the Silver Spring Metro station on the Red Line,” said Randall.
Crime: According to crimemap.dc.gov there were two assaults, two burglaries and two thefts in the past year.