Capitol Hill, in addition to being a metonym for the United States Congress, is the largest historic residential neighborhood in Washington, D.C., stretching easterly in front of the United States Capitol along wide avenues. It is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., with roughly 35,000 people in just under 2 square miles (5 km2); it is also one of the most densely populated.
As a geographic feature, Capitol Hill rises near the center of the District of Columbia and extends eastward. Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant, as he began to develop his plan for the new federal capital city in 1791, chose to locate the “Congress House” (the Capitol building) on the crest of the hill at a site that he characterized as a “pedestal waiting for a monument.” The Capitol building has been the home of the Congress of the United States and the workplace of many residents of the Capitol Hill neighborhood since 1800.
Today, the Capitol Hill neighborhood straddles two quadrants of the city, Southeast and Northeast. Many of the neighborhood is now designated as the Capitol Hill Historic District.
Capitol Hill is often used to refer to the historic district and the larger neighborhood around it. To the east of Capitol Hill lies the Anacostia River, to the north is the H Street corridor, to the south are the Southeast/Southwest Freeway and the Washington Navy Yard, and to the west are the National Mall and the city’s central business district. The Capitol building is surrounded by the Capitol Hill Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Capitol Hill Historic District was expanded in 2015 to the north to include the blocks bordered by 2nd Street, F Street, 4th Street, and just south of H Street, NE, collectively known as the Swampoodle Addition. EZ DC Junk Removal
Capitol Hill’s landmarks include the United States Capitol and the Senate and House office buildings, the Supreme Court building, the Library of Congress, the Marine Barracks, the Washington Navy Yard, and Congressional Cemetery.
It is, however, a residential neighborhood composed predominantly of rowhouses of different stylistic varieties and periods. Side by side exists early 19th-century manor houses, Federal townhouses, small frame dwellings, ornate Italianate bracketed houses, and the late 19th-century press brick rowhouses with their often whimsical decorative elements combining Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Eastlakian motifs. In the 1990s, gentrification and the booming economy of the District of Columbia meant that the neighborhood’s non-historic and obsolete buildings began to be replaced. New buildings, which must comply with height limits and other restrictions, are often done in a decorative modernist style by Amy Weinstein. Their designs feature polychrome brickwork set in patterned relief.
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