Look Up, Washington DC! A Walking Tour of Dupont Circle
a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2013 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
It was the Board of Public works under the leadership of Alexander Shepherd that spearheaded the way for the development of Dupont Circle. Nevada Senator William Morris Stewart led the “California Syndicate” which bought up tracts of undeveloped land and the style of the neighborhood was set when Stewart erected his mansion (now demolished) in the 1870s. By the late 1880s the Dupont neighborhood was an affluent and vibrant residential enclave.
Two types of housing predominate in the historic district: palatial mansions and freestanding residences built in the styles popular between 1895 and 1910; and three-and-four-story rowhouses, many of which are variations on the Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque Revival styles, built primarily before the turn of the century. The mansions line the broad, tree-lined diagonal avenues that intersect the circle and the rowhouses line the grid streets of the historic district. This juxtaposition of house types and street pattern gives the area a unique character.