During the early 1990s, Meena Ahamed was a young mother in search of the perfect place to raise her growing family when she discovered the “picturesque” neighborhood of Wesley Heights in Northwest Washington.

More than two decades have passed and Ahamed’s children are now adults, but the 62-year-old retired journalist still considers the neighborhood ideal.

“In those days, if you wanted to raise kids and give them the best of the suburbs and the city, Wesley Heights was it,” said Ahamed, who lives in a six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, brick-and-stucco modernized Tudor on 44th Place. “It just had all of the elements of ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ and it’s still like that today.”

Built mostly during the 1920s as one of the country’s earliest planned communities, Wesley Heights offers potential residents a rare mix of older- and newer-style homes, said Christie-Anne Weiss, an associate broker with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Folks drawn to this neighborhood are people who like to open their windows to the outdoors, come outside and spend time with their neighbors,” said Weiss, who’s sold real estate in Wesley Heights for years.


Large lots: Full of leafy, tree-lined streets, Wesley Heights is close to Battery Kemble Park and Glover Archbold Park, which offer adequate trails for hiking, biking and running, Weiss said.

“The park space surrounding Wesley Heights helps make it a premiere neighborhood that is truly one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Washington,” she said.

Weiss said that the neighborhood is also a short distance to restaurants and shops along New Mexico Avenue.

Anthony “Ankie” Barnes, a residential architect who has completed several dozen remodeling projects in Wesley Heights, said that the neighborhood’s mix of lot sizes offers residents ample space to expand as their families grow.

Barnes, who purchased a Tudor Revival house on Hawthorne Street in the early 1990s, said that half of the community is designated R-1-A under the District’s zoning code, allowing for lots of 7,500 square feet or larger. The remaining residential real estate is zoned R-1-B, which calls for lots to be a minimum of 5,000 square feet, Barnes said. “That kind of variety is very healthy for the neighborhood,” he added.

Russell Shaw, who purchased a home on 44th Place nearly 50 years ago, said that “it’s not accidental” that he and his wife found their way to Wesley Heights.

“The people are very congenial and outgoing,” said Shaw, a published author who along with his wife raised five children in the community.

Leo Gorman, who’s lived in his two-level stucco house since 1978, was recently sorting through nearly 40 years of mementos, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, when he began to reflect on his affection for Wesley Heights and the many neighbors who’ve become friends.

“We’re not moving out until we absolutely have to, which will hopefully be never,” he said.

Living there: The neighborhood is bounded roughly by Nebraska Avenue to the north, New Mexico Avenue to the east, Wesley Heights Park and Glover Archbold Park to the south, and Battery Kemble Park to the west.


Eden Ellis of Pup Luv pet service walks dogs through Battery Kemble Park in the Wesley Heights neighborhood. (Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)

In the past 12 months, 35 properties have sold in Wesley Heights, ranging from a 1,332-square-foot, two-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary townhouse for $725,000 to a 4,082-square-foot, seven-bedroom, six-bathroom Colonial for $3,395,000, said Weiss, the associate broker with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

There are eight houses for sale in Wesley Heights, ranging from a 2,106-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom Federal-style townhouse for $1,039,000 to a 4,214-square-foot, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom Tudor with a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest cottage and a swimming pool for $4,350,000, Weiss said.

Schools: Horace Mann Elementary, Hardy Middle and Woodrow Wilson High.

Transit: Metrobus’s N2 and N6 lines service the neighborhood. Wesley Heights is about a mile from the Tenleytown station on Metro’s Red Line.

Crime: Since January, there have been 10 burglaries, four robberies, four reports of stolen vehicles and three assaults in the police area covering Wesley Heights, according to D.C. police.


Oscar Wright accompanied by Sofia Restrepo climbs on the equipment in the playground at Horace Mann Elementary School. (Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)