Before the hot air of bureaucracy settled over Capitol Hill in 1791, the area was rural farmland better known as Jenkins Hill. While Capitol Hill may not represent the “true center” of the District, it has been the center of the American political experience since 1791, when Pierre L’Enfant chose it as the site for the nation’s “Congress House.”
Capitol Hill is situated in both the NE and SE quadrants. It is one of the oldest residential communities in D.C. From its inception, the area surrounding the U.S. Capitol was a desirable location for Congressman and Senators to set up temporary residence. It is home to a number of American landmarks, including the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress, and luminaries like John Phillip Sousa, Frederick Douglass and J. Edgar Hoover. The Capitol Hill Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Quality of Life:
Capitol Hill is the largest residential historic district in the District. The street plan remains a testament to L’Enfant’s vision; wide avenues feature lines of well-maintained row houses reflecting a range of different styles, from stately, Federal townhomes to smaller frame residences.
While many of the Hill’s residents still seek temporary living accommodations, there are many who make Capitol Hill their permanent “headquarters.” Those who stake a claim have unprecedented access to an eclectic mix of contemporary restaurants and boutiques. The National Mall and the Smithsonian Museums are only a short walk away. Eastern Market, which features fresh food, craft stands and other artisanal booths, attracts a considerable crowd on the weekends, especially during the spring and summer months.
Democracy rules; Capitol Hill is a pedestrian-friendly community open to all. There are two metro stops on the Blue and Orange lines at Capitol South and Eastern Market. Like most D.C. neighborhoods, reliable buses ferry residents between different parts of the city.
Ronald Reagan National Airport: < 10 miles
Washington-Dulles International Airport: < 30 miles
Baltimore-Washington International Airport: < 35 miles