Capitol Hill

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., and with roughly 35,000 people in just under 2 square miles (5 km2), it is also one of the most densely populated.[1]

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.

The Capitol Hill neighborhood today straddles two quadrants of the city, Southeast and Northeast. A large portion of the neighborhood is now designated as the Capitol Hill Historic District.

The name Capitol Hill is often used to refer to both the historic district and to 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.

Capitol Hill Historic District
G Street DC b CHHD
G Street SE
DC Neighborhoods - Capitol Hill
Map of Washington, D.C., with the Capitol Hill Historic District highlighted in maroon
LocationRoughly bounded by Virginia Ave., SE., S. Capitol St., G St. NE., and 14th Sts. SE & NE; and roughly bounded by 8th St. NE, I-295, M St. SE and 11th St. SE
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates38°53′23″N 77°00′40″W / 38.88972°N 77.01111°WCoordinates: 38°53′23″N 77°00′40″W / 38.88972°N 77.01111°W
NRHP reference #76002127 (original)
03000585 (increase)
Significant dates
Added to NRHPAugust 27, 1976
Boundary increaseJuly 3, 2003
Aerial view of the Capitol Hill
Aerial view of Capitol Hill looking east, showing the Capitol, Supreme Court Building, Library of Congress, and congressional office buildings.


L'Enfant selected the location of the Capitol (the "Congress House") in his 1791 design for the federal capital city (see: L'Enfant Plan). He referred to the hill chosen as the site of the future Congress House as "Jenkins Hill" or "Jenkins Heights".[2][3]

However, the tract of land had for many years belonged to the Carroll family and was noted in their records of ownership as "New Troy". While a man named Thomas Jenkins had once pastured some livestock at the site of the Capitol (and thus his name was associated with the site), artist John Trumbull, who would paint several murals inside the Capitol's rotunda, reported in 1791 that the site was covered with a thick wood, making it an unlikely place for livestock to graze. Research published in 2004 by the Capitol Hill Historical Society showed that Jenkins' land was just seven blocks east of the site of the Capitol and that L'Enfant was likely to have given Jenkins' name to the general location.[2]

While serving in 1793 as President George Washington's Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson named Capitol Hill, invoking the famous Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome.[4] However, the connection between the two is not completely clear.[5] (The Roman Senate had in fact never met on the Capitoline Hill).

The neighborhood that is now called Capitol Hill started to develop when the government began work at two locations, the Capitol and the Washington Navy Yard. It became a distinct community between 1799 and 1810 as the federal government became a major employer. The first stage in its early history was that of a boarding house community developed for members of Congress. In the early years of the Republic, few Congressmen wished to establish permanent residence in the city. Instead, most preferred to live in boarding houses within walking distance of the Capitol.[1]

In 1799, the Washington Navy Yard was established on the banks of the Anacostia River, providing jobs to craftsmen who built and repaired ships. Many of the craftsmen who were employed both at the Navy Yard and in the construction of the Capitol chose to live within walking distance, to the east of the Capitol and the north of the Navy Yard. They became the original residential population of the neighborhood.

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson, who was at the time President of the United States, selected the location of the Marine Barracks, which had to be within marching distance of both the Capitol and the White House, near the Washington Navy Yard. By 1810, shops, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, and churches were flourishing in the area.

The Civil War resulted in more construction in the Capitol Hill area, including the building of hospitals. Construction of new houses continued in the 1870s and 1880s. The neighborhood began to divide along racial and economic class lines. Electricity, piped water, and plumbing were introduced in the 1890s, and were first available in the downtown areas of the District of Columbia, including Capitol Hill. There was a real estate development boom between 1890 and 1910 as the Capitol Hill area became one of the first neighborhoods having these modern conveniences.

In 1976, the Capitol Hill Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the largest historic districts in the United States.[1] The boundaries of the historic district are irregular, extending southward from F Street NE, as far east as 14th Street, as far west as South Capitol Street, and with a southern limit marked chiefly by Virginia Avenue but including some territory as far south as M Street SE. It includes buildings from the Federal period (1800 to 1820) through 1919, but most of the buildings are late Victorian.

Capitol Hill has remained a fairly stable middle-class neighborhood throughout its existence. It suffered a period of economic decline and rising crime in the mid-20th century but gradually recovered. During the so-called "crack epidemic" of the 1980s, its fringes were often affected. Beginning in the 1990s, the neighborhood has undergone intense gentrification.[6]


Christ Church Washington DC
Christ Church built 1806 on G Street SE

Capitol Hill's landmarks include not only the United States Capitol, but also 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, largely a residential neighborhood composed predominantly of rowhouses of different stylistic varieties and periods. Side by side exist 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.[1] 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 have to comply with height limits and other restrictions, are often done in a decorative modernist style, many by Amy Weinstein, whose designs feature polychrome brickwork set in patterned relief.[7][8]

There are multiple schools within the boundaries, including Brent Elementary School, the main primary school, St. Peter's School on Capitol Hill, the only Catholic school, Capitol Hill Day School, Stuart-Hobson Middle School, Elliot-Hine Jr.High School, Eastern High School and many others. Compared to other DC neighborhoods, it has an abnormally large number of schools.

The main non-residential corridor of Capitol Hill is Pennsylvania Avenue, a lively commercial street with shops, restaurants and bars. Eastern Market is an 1873 public market on 7th Street SE, where vendors sell fresh meat and produce in indoor stalls and at outdoor farmers' stands. It is also the site of an outdoor flea market every weekend. After a major fire gutted the main market building on April 30, 2007, it underwent restoration and reopened on June 26, 2009. One of the most beloved stores, Fragers Hardware, has been based on Pennsylvania Avenue for nearly 100 years before it suffered a fire similar in destructiveness to the Eastern Market fire. It has successfully rebuilt on the same location.[9]

Barracks Row (8th Street SE), so called because of its proximity to the U.S. Marine Barracks, is one of the city's oldest commercial corridors.[10] It dates to the late 18th century and has recently been revitalized.

A new addition to Capitol Hill is a community center named Hill Center. Hill Center is housed in the restored Old Naval Hospital at the corner of 9th and Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The rehabilitation of the Old Naval Hospital combines the restoration of a historically significant landmark with the cutting edge technologies of modern “green” architecture. Hill Center is a vibrant new home for cultural, educational, and civic life on Capitol Hill.

Recent estimates in Capitol Hill newspapers suggest as many as a third of all Members of Congress live on Capitol Hill while in Washington.

Famous people who were born in the Capitol Hill neighborhood include John Philip Sousa (whose birthplace, on G St., near Christ Church is still standing) and J. Edgar Hoover. Frederick Douglass's former house can be found in the 300 block of A Street Northeast. In the 1970s, the Douglass house was used as an African Art Museum by Warren M. Robbins.

Notable residents


USA - Capitol Hill

East Capitol Street NE

1st substation SE DC CHHD

Police Substation Number 1

G Street DC CHHD

Houses on G Street, SE


Houses on D Street SE

Mountjoy Bayly House

The Hiram W. Johnson House, a National Historic Landmark located on Capitol Hill


  1. ^ a b c d "Capitol Hill Historic District". National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary. National Park Service. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Vlach, John Michael (Spring 2004). "The Mysterious Mr. Jenkins of Jenkins Hill". United States Capitol Historical Society. Archived from the original on October 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. ^ (1) "History of Capitol Hill". Architecture. Washington, D.C.: Architect of the Capitol. Archived from the original on 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
    (2) L'Enfant, P.C. (June 22, 1791). "To The President of the United States". L'Enfant's Reports To President Washington Bearing Dates of March 26, June 22, and August 19, 1791: Records of the Columbia Historical Society. Washington, D.C.: Columbia Historical Society (1899). 2: 34–35. Retrieved 2011-12-28 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ (1) Bordewich, Fergus M. (September 2008). "A Capitol Vision From a Self-Taught Architect". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
    (2) Harper, Douglas. "Capitol". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  5. ^ Hodgkins, George W. (1960). "Naming the Capitol and the Capital". Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C. 60/62: 36–53. JSTOR 40067217.
  6. ^ "Shoppers Celebrate Reopening of Eastern Market on Capitol Hill". The Washington Post. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  7. ^ Mencimer, Stephanie (25 October 1996). "Building Blocks Architect Amy Weinstein Is Redesigning Capitol Hill One Block at a Time". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  8. ^ Hurley, Amanda kolson (12 September 2014). "Amy Weinstein's New Eastern Market Building Is Exuberantly Victorian". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Tour of Duty: Barracks Row Heritage Trail". Cultural Tourism DC. City of Washington. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  11. ^ Hermann, Peter (2017-09-01). "Isaac Fulwood, Washington police chief during tumultuous era, dies at 77". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-09-30.

External links

California State Capitol

The California State Capitol is home to the government of the U.S. state of California. The building houses the bicameral state legislature and the office of the governor. The grounds of the capitol form the Capitol Park.

Located in Sacramento, the Neoclassical structure was completed between 1861 and 1874 at the west end of Capitol Park, which is framed by L Street to the north, N Street to the south, 10th Street to the west, and 15th Street to the east. The Capitol and grounds were listed on the office of the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and listed as a California Historical Landmark in 1974, with a re-dedication on January 9, 1982 to commemorate the close of the bicentennial restoration project. The building had undergone a major renovation, known as the California State Capitol Restoration, from 1975 until 1982 to restore the Capitol to its former beauty and to retrofit the structure for earthquake safety. Although not generally considered earthquake country, Sacramento was hit by two earthquakes within days of each other in 1892 which damaged the Capitol.

Capitol Hill, Calgary

Capitol Hill is a residential neighbourhood in the north-west quadrant of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is located immediately north of the Trans-Canada Highway, and is bisected by 14th Street West. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the North Hill shopping center are located south of the community. To the north it is bounded by the Confederation Park.

Capitol Hill was established in 1948, but contains buildings as old as 1910. Most of the community was built in the 1950s. It is represented in the Calgary City Council by the Ward 7 councillor.

Capitol Hill, New Jersey

Capitol Hill is an unincorporated community located within Edgewater Park Township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States.

Capitol Hill, Saipan

Capitol Hill (sometimes spelled Capital Hill, formerly Army Hill under the United States Navy,) is a settlement (sometimes termed a village or district) on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. It has a population of just over 1,000. Capitol Hill has been the territory's seat of government since 1962. It lies on the cross-island road between Tanapag and San Vicente.

Capitol Hill was originally built in 1948 by the Central Intelligence Agency as a base involved in covert training of Nationalist Chinese guerrillas.The area is home to various government departments and agencies:

Governor's Office

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Legislature Building

US Post Office

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Commerce

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Workforce Investment Agency

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Council for Arts and Culture

Capitol Hill (Denver)

Located in the City and County of Denver, Colorado, the Capitol Hill neighborhood is bounded by Broadway, Downing Street, Colfax Avenue, and Seventh Avenue, which carry large volumes of traffic around the neighborhood. It is technically located in East Denver which begins immediately east of Broadway, the neighborhood's western boundary. Many consider the Cheesman Park neighborhood to be a part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, but as defined by the city [1], Cheesman Park is a separate neighborhood. Denver also recognizes a statistical neighborhood called North Capitol Hill, but this is called Uptown by many residents. Colfax Avenue is the border between these two neighborhoods.

Capitol Hill (Oklahoma City)

Capitol Hill is a neighborhood of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was originally a separate city that was established in 1905, merging with its larger neighbor (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) in 1911. The neighborhood is located just south of downtown Oklahoma City on the North Canadian River.The Capitol Hill Urban Design District is an area designated in 1996 by Oklahoma City to try to maintain the existing historic, architectural and visual character of an area, while at the same time encouraging compatible, quality, new development. In 1997, Capitol Hill became an official Main Street community and today the district enjoys a rich multi-cultural quality

Despite its name, Capitol Hill is a historic business and entertainment district in south Oklahoma City and should not be confused with the capitol campus, which is centered at N. Lincoln Blvd and E. 23rd Street where the state capitol building (of Oklahoma) and other government agencies reside.

Capitol Hill (Salt Lake City)

Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City gets its name from the Utah State Capitol prominently overlooking downtown. In addition, Capitol Hill can be considered a neighborhood of Salt Lake City.

Capitol Hill (Seattle)

Capitol Hill is a densely populated, residential district in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is one of the city's most prominent nightlife and entertainment districts and is the center of the city's LGBT and counterculture communities.

Capitol Hill station

Capitol Hill is a light rail station in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States. The station is served by Sound Transit's Link light rail system and is located near the intersection of Broadway and East John Street. It is situated between the Westlake and University of Washington stations on the Central Link line. The station consists of an island platform approximately 65 feet (20 m) under street level, connected to three surface entrances via two mezzanines. It contains three pieces of public art, including Mike Ross's sculpture Jet Kiss and two murals by cartoonist Ellen Forney.

Capitol Hill had been proposed as the site of a subway stop in unimplemented plans from 1911 and 1968, but voter approval did not come until 1996. It was built as part of the University Link Extension, which began construction in 2009 and opened on March 19, 2016. Construction of the station required the demolition of two city blocks along Broadway, which will be redeveloped into a transit-oriented, mixed-use complex in 2020. Light rail trains serve the station twenty hours a day on most days; the headway between trains is six minutes during peak periods, with less frequent service at other times. The station is also served by the First Hill Streetcar and several King County Metro bus routes at nearby stops.

Capitoline Hill

The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill (; Latin: Mōns Capitōlīnus [ˈmoːns kapɪtoːˈliːnʊs]; Italian: Campidoglio [kampiˈdɔʎʎo]), between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the Seven Hills of Rome.

The hill was earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn. The word Capitolium first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus later built here, and afterwards it was used for the whole hill (and even other temples of Jupiter on other hills), thus Mons Capitolinus (the adjective noun of Capitolium). Ancient sources refer the name to caput ("head", "summit") and the tale was that, when laying the foundations for the temple, the head of a man was found, some sources even saying it was the head of some Tolus or Olus. The Capitolium was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, and was adopted as a symbol of eternity.By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, and Capitolium Campidoglio. The Capitoline Hill contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces (now housing the Capitoline Museums) that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo.

Influenced by Roman architecture and Roman republican times, the word Capitolium still lives in the English word capitol. The Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. is widely assumed to be named after the Capitoline Hill, but the relation is not clear.

Florida House on Capitol Hill

Florida House is located on Capitol Hill. Sometimes called Florida's Embassy or the Manning House, it is a privately owned education and information center located in Northeast Washington, D.C.. It provides a meeting, classroom, and reception space for Floridians and others when visiting the Nation's Capital. Florida House is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded solely through private donations; the building is not owned by the State of Florida nor is it supported by Florida taxpayer dollars.

The Florida House is located on Capitol Hill, directly behind the Supreme Court at the corner of East Capitol and Second St. NE, and offers a view of the United States Capitol.

Florida House conducts educational, cultural and award programs including the Florida Congressional Intern Seminar Series, and is visited by about 15,000 people each year. In addition to rest and relaxation (including a free glass of orange juice, Florida's official beverage), visitors meet a staff on hand with information on tours, restaurants, attractions, historic sites, shopping, and directions.

Ford House Office Building

The Ford House Office Building is one of the four office buildings containing U.S. House of Representatives staff in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill.

The Ford House Office Building is the only House Office Building that is not connected underground to either one of the other office buildings or to the Capitol itself, and the only House Office Building that does not contain offices of members of Congress. Instead, it primarily houses committee staff and other offices, including the Architect of the Capitol, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

James Madison Memorial Building

The James Madison Memorial Building is one of three United States Capitol Complex buildings that house the Library of Congress. The building was constructed from 1971 to 1976, and serves as the official memorial to President James Madison. It is located between First and Second Streets SE on Independence Avenue, in Washington, DC.

John Adams Building

The John Adams Building is the second oldest of the four buildings of the Library of Congress of the United States. It is named for John Adams, the second president, who signed the law creating the Library of Congress. The building is in the Capitol Hill district of Washington D.C. next to the Library's main building (the Thomas Jefferson Building). It opened to the public on January 3, 1939, and was long known as The Annex building. The annex was built in a restrained but very detailed Art Deco style and faced in white Georgia marble. It is located on Second Street SE between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street in Washington, DC.

O'Neill House Office Building

The O'Neill House Office Building was a congressional office building located near the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Initially known as "House Annex-1", it was named in the late 1980s after former Speaker of the House Thomas "Tip" O'Neill.

In the 1970s, two buildings were acquired by the Architect of the Capitol to be used as office space by the House of Representatives. One of the buildings acquired was the Ford House Office Building, originally built to house the fingerprint records of Federal Bureau of Investigation. The other, the O'Neill House Office Building, originally the Congressional Hotel, was located on C Street. When it was turned into a House Office Building, the third and fourth floors of the building were retained as residences to be used as the House Page dormitory. The building was demolished in 2002. A parking lot is currently on the site.

The Hill (newspaper)

The Hill is an American political newspaper and website published in Washington, D.C. since 1994. It is published by Capitol Hill Publishing, which is owned by News Communications, Inc.

Focusing on politics, policy, business and international relations, The Hill coverage includes the U.S. Congress, the presidency, and election campaigns. On its website, The Hill describes its product as "nonpartisan reporting on the inner workings of Congress and the nexus of politics and business".The paper was founded in 1994 and was published by New York businessman Jerry Finkelstein. The paper is currently owned by his son Jimmy Finkelstein, who serves as its chairman. Bob Cusack currently serves as the editor-in-chief, Johanna Derlega as the publisher, and Ian Swanson as managing editor.

United States Capitol Complex

The United States Capitol Complex is a group of about a dozen buildings and facilities in Washington, D.C., that are used by the U.S. Federal government. The buildings and grounds within the complex are managed and supervised by the Architect of the Capitol.

United States Capitol Police

The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is a federal law enforcement agency charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories. The USCP is the only full service federal law enforcement agency responsible to the legislative branch of the U.S. government.

West Portland Park, Portland, Oregon

West Portland Park is a neighborhood in the Southwest section of Portland, Oregon. It lies between SW 53rd Ave. in the west and SW 35th Ave. in the east, and I-5 in the north and SW Stephenson St. (Portland city limits) in the south. (Two small sections extend further south, a parcel at the end of SW 47th Ave. and the "Kerr Site" between SW 39th Ave. and SW 37th Ave., following irregularities in Portland's southern border.) South of SW Pomona St., the western border is SW 49th Ave. The neighborhood borders Crestwood and Far Southwest to the west, Multnomah to the north, Markham and Arnold Creek to the east, and the city of Lake Oswego to the south.

The northern part of the neighborhood is called Capitol Hill, site of the

Capitol Hill Library, the Islamic Center of Portland, the Portland Rizwan Mosque (of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community), and the Islamic School of Portland.

Jackson Middle School and Markham Elementary School are in West Portland Park.

Public open space in the neighborhood includes the Kerr Site, which was purchased jointly by the City of Portland and City of Lake Oswego with the intent of eventually installing walking trails; Loll Wildwood, the Metro greenspace at the headwaters of Arnold Creek, formerly known as the West Portland Park Natural Area (purchased in 1995 for protection of wildlife habitat and water quality); and the Holly Farm Park, completed in 2007 after a partnership between the Parks Foundation, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the West Portland Park Neighborhood Association.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.