My Historic Washington: Anacostia

Posted on: January 16th, 2009 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 4 Comments
Greetings From Anacostia: Our Postcard View of the Capitol and the National Mall

I have lived in the D.C. area for over eight years, but I am still a newbie to Anacostia.

If you are at all familiar with the District and its many neighborhoods, you probably know that a raised eyebrow and a look of disbelief is a common reaction when you hear someone say, "I just moved to Anacostia." However, as someone new to the area, I am proud to report that those reactions are finally changing. Now I get, "Oh, really great things are happening there," or "Good for you, very smart investment."

It would be dishonest of me to pretend like these promising predictions did not factor into my decision-making process before purchasing a home here with my partner. But truth be told, there are many great reasons to consider making Anacostia your home or at least a stop on your tour of Washington. Here are just four of them:

  1. The View: Most of Anacostia is situated on high ground, affording us some of the best views of Washington. In fact, the photo above was taken on my own roof-top deck.
  2. The Neighborhood: My neighbors - young and old - always look me in the eye as I walk to the Metro and take a moment to say "hello" or "good morning." That's not something you get in other neighborhoods.
  3. The Green Space: Anacostia is full of parkland, bike trails and recreation areas.
  4. The Sense of Place: There is a sense here of being a part of history as it is taking place, a progression of positive growth and renewal for a historic community. Check out our riverfront project at Poplar Point to see for yourself.

So, if you are like many of my D.C. friends who comment that they haven’t been to Anacostia since they took that "wrong turn a few years ago," please consider taking another look. We have a blossoming Main Street program, the historic Fredrick Douglass House, the Honfleur Art Gallery (a project of ARCH, a community-based non-profit in Anacostia) and the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum.

I am proud to call Anacostia home because I am part of a neighborhood that is looking to the future for the positive, sustainable growth that will give our overlooked gem its chance to shine.

– Lisa Turgeon-Williams

Lisa Turgeon-Williams is the manager of product development for National Trust Tours. Stay tuned leading up to the inauguration as more National Trust staffers share their stories about the greater D.C. area. Coming to town for the historic event? Be sure to visit our new Preservationist’s Guide to Washington.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.


4 Responses

  1. Ana Costia

    January 17, 2009

    Great post and what a beautiful picture. I live in Anacostia and I have gotten over trying to convince people who don’t know about it. Instead I focus more on trying to get connected to the neighborhood and create an inviting vibe for the people who live here.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jenelle Cooper Tolson

    January 17, 2009

    Thanks so much for this wonderful plug for Anacostia. I’ve worked at the Anacostia Community Museum for 14 years and all I can see is growth in Anacostia. I have met some wonderful members of the Anacostia neighborhood and I continue to enjoy my work at the museum so thanks for the mention. Keep sharing!!

  3. DG-rad

    January 17, 2009

    what a great post – and welcome to the neighborhood!

  4. Darrin D. Davis

    January 19, 2009

    Thank you very much for this nice article. I moved to Anacostia six years ago from Capitol Hill. Everyday I can see the neighborhood changing for the better. I have sold real estate exclusively in the Anacostia area since 2002. I believe in the area so much, I am opening Anacostia River Realty, LLC, in the spring of 2009. Thanks once again.

    Darrin D. Davis