IN THE HOOD WITH DC HOME BUZZ: MOUNT PLEASANT
By: Ati Williams
We’re kicking off our In the Hood with DC Home Buzz neighborhood spotlights with one of our favorites, Mount Pleasant! Every other week we will be featuring a DC neighborhood on our Buzz Blog and social media.
Mount Pleasant is nestled between Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan, walking distance to Columbia Heights and Woodley Park Metro stops and with even more convenient bus lines, including the Circulator that also serves Logan and Adams Morgan. The 42 bus links the ‘hood with Metro Center via Connecticut Avenue and Dupont, and a number of other buses serve the area as well. Easy access to the Zoo and Rock Creek Park where on Saturdays Beach Drive is car-free for bikers and pedestrians. The Carter Barron Amphitheatre, with all its fantastic summer performances, is a short ride away. Even though it’s in the middle of 2 very developed areas, Mount Pleasant has a very residential, hometown feel to it.
Mount Pleasant History: The neighborhood dates back to 1727, when a large area of what is now Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan/Mount Pleasant was granted to James Holmead. James’s son, Anthony, inherited the estate in 1750 and named it Pleasant Plains. After the United States Congress created the District of Columbia in 1791, Pleasant Plains estate became part of Washington County, a section of the District lying between what now is Florida Avenue and the Maryland border. The Holmeads gradually sold off all tracts of the Pleasant Plains estate. In the 21st century, the family name is preserved in Holmead Place, a short street located west of Thirteenth Street between Spring and Park Roads NW, in what now is Columbia Heights. During the Civil War, this area was home to a hospital, and after the war the neighborhood became known as Mount Pleasant Village. It was separated from the rest of the District by rural land, as DC hadn’t grown into its 10-mile square yet, which is why Mount Pleasant doesn’t quite line up with DC’s orderly grid of streets. In the 1870s, the area became the District’s first streetcar suburb, and many middle class residents moved in to take advantage of the quick commute into downtown.
Since then things have changed a lot. In the 50s it became racially segregated. The 1968 riots made things worse, and the area entered a period of decline. However, throughout the 60s Spanish-speaking immigrants began moving to Mount Pleasant, establishing vibrant communities of El Salvadorian and Dominican immigrants. In the 80s and 90s, affluent professionals began moving into the area for its access to jobs downtown and its historic residential housing.
Today, Mount Pleasant includes beautiful historic homes, locally owned businesses along Mount Pleasant street and a great almost year round Farmer’s Market on Saturdays in Lamont Park from 9 AM to 1 PM. The sense of community includes neighborhood events like Movie Night in Lamont Park, Dia de Los Muertos and more.
Stay tuned for more about Mount Pleasant, including a video tour with Ati and our Mount Pleasant Restaurant Roundup!