This week DC Hood Hopper is featuring the Columbia Heights neighborhood, located just north of Adams Morgan (which we also featured recently), and the subject of some fascinating DC history.
In the 1800’s the area was largely farmland. Home to the original campus of George Washington University, then called Columbian College and located on the land where Meridian Hill Park now sits, the neighborhood got its name from the college.
With the introduction of the streetcar in the 1900’s, the area became more densely populated, attracting residents and development such as the famous Tivoli Theatre built in 1924. Like U Street, Columbia Heights was hit hard by the 1968 riots following MLK Jr.’s assassination, leaving buildings damaged or vacant for years.
The Columbia Heights metro station was built in 1999, helping to revitalize the area by making the neighborhood an accessible hub for shopping, restaurants, and living. Today Columbia Heights is one of DC’s more diverse neighborhoods, with a population that is 43% African American, 28% Hispanic, and 23% white, according to the 2010 Census.
Interested in more Columbia Heights history? Check out this recent post from Ghosts of DC: Old Columbia Heights: Where the Streets Have New Names.