Truxton Circle is actually more of a triangle, a small sliver of a neighborhood north of Union Station and adjacent to the better-known communities of Eckington, Bloomingdale, Shaw and Mount Vernon Triangle.
The neighborhood is architecturally diverse — new condo buildings are sprouting up on empty lots next to 19th-century rowhouses. It’s lively, too, with two public libraries, outdoor movies in the summer, and nearby entertainment and cultural venues such as the Howard Theatre, Verizon Center, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.
Housing is dominated by two-level, flat-roofed rowhouses, many of them freshly renovated, some with English basements, said Larry Bivins, a sales associate with Long & Foster.
Bates Street, which runs across the neighborhood, exemplifies Truxton Circle. It’s an attractive, tree-lined street with house facades in an array of red, brown, gray and yellow, with flowers in front yards and contemporary numerals on doors.
Florida Avenue Park, at First Street and Florida Avenue NW, is typically teaming with toddlers on colorful play equipment on weekdays.
“Four or five babies were born within a week of each other nearby,” said Jennifer Lewis, who bought a three-bedroom rowhouse when she was single in 2006 and is now married with two children.
“We take our kids and meet a lot of neighbors,” she added.
Both sides of change: Like many D.C. neighborhoods, Truxton Circle is seeing an influx of new people, a situation that is drawing a mixed reaction.
“The neighborhood is definitely changing,” said Eric Ahearn, who just graduated with a master’s degree from George Washington University and rents a four-bedroom, five-bathroom apartment with several roommates. “I see lots of development — an increase in the number of houses that are under renovation, for sale or flipped. And they seem to go fast. You don’t see a sign up for long.”
“My impression is that a lot of young professionals are moving in,” he said.
M Marie Maxwell, a local historian who created and runs the history Web site www.truxtoncircle.org , has also witnessed transformation since buying an 1874 rowhouse in 2001. “When I moved in,” she said, “there were no restaurants, and drug dealers were on the corners. Each year I love it more and more.”
But Quinzenia Mack, a homeowner since 1966, said: “I like the neighborhood, but how long can I stay? Each time someone remodels, my taxes go up.”
“The people who’ve been here longest are mostly African Americans,” Mack said. “Many of us are paid minimum wage. Those new condos aren’t affordable for us. And I don’t have the money to renovate.”
Plenty to do: There are two neighborhood libraries — Waltha T. Daniel-Shaw Library at 1630 Seventh St. NW and Northwest One Neighborhood Library at 155 L St. NW.
During the summer, outdoor movies, co-sponsored by the Bates Area Civic Association, attracted crowds. Kennedy Recreation Center at 1401 Seventh St. NW offers a playground, basketball court and baseball field.
The eight-lane indoor pool at Dunbar High School is open to the public Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Big Bear Cafe, Beau Thai, Red Hen and Boundary Stone are neighborhood restaurants. Safeway is at Fifth and L streets NW, Giant at Seventh and O streets NW. Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market at 102 R St. NW is open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The nearby H Street NE corridor is lively with entertainment and dining venues.
Living there: Truxton Circle is bordered by Rhode Island Avenue NW to the north, Florida Avenue NW and NE to the east, New York Avenue NW and NE to the south, and New Jersey Avenue NW to the west.
Thirteen properties are on the market, with prices ranging from $324,555 for a one-bedroom, 11 / 2-bathroom condo to $1.1 million for a rowhouse with five bedrooms and 21 / 2 baths, according to Bivins.
Seven properties are under contract, from a Colonial-style rowhouse with two bedrooms and 11 / 2 bathrooms for $364,000 to a three-bedroom, 21 / 2-bath condo for $729,000.
Over the past year, 76 houses sold, ranging from a $270,000 short sale for a three-bedroom, 11 / 2-bathroom Colonial rowhouse to $1.02 million for a five-
bedroom, three-bath semi-detached contemporary house.
Transit: Walking, biking and public transportation are the easiest and most popular ways of getting around.
Lewis walks to and from her office at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Her husband, Josh Lewis, bikes to the same location. Ahearn biked to classes.
Two Metro stations on the Green and Yellow lines, Shaw-Howard University and Mount Vernon Square, are within walking distance. The area is served by several Metrobus lines.
Schools: Cleveland and Seaton elementary; Langley and Walker-Jones education campuses for elementary and middle; McKinley Technology Education Campus for middle and high; and Dunbar High.
Crime: According to the D.C. police crime map, there were two homicides, 31 robberies, 15 assaults with a dangerous weapon and 12 burglaries from early September 2013 to early September 2014.
Audrey Hoffer is a freelance writer.