This neighborhood sites along the Southeast side of Washington, D.C. and is known for its incredibly irregular boundary. The main boundaries lie by St. Elizabeths Hospital, Lebaum Street SE, 4th Street SE, and Newcomb Street SE on the north east; Shepard Parkway and South Capitol Street on the west; Atlantic Street SE and 1st Street SE on the south; and Wheeler Street and Alabama Avenue SE on the east.
Before major development hit this region, Congress Heights was a farmland. The area was served by the Navy Yard Bridge, and it wasn’t until 1854 that the first residential development occurred along the east of the river. The following year, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was given a place in the neighborhood, and slowly a small little area started developing around it. During and after the Civil War, construction in this area continued to include more surrounding residential properties.
After World War II, the region saw decline in population and overall conditions, and began developing a bad reputation among local D.C. residents. This continued up until the turn of the 21st century, when renewed interest in the neighborhood started to bring life back into the Heights. There have nineteen new development projects started since 2006, including an improved Metro Station, a new Giant Grocery Store, an enhanced shopping center, a few art-central projects, and 75 new residential buildings. The restaurants here are familiar to many, with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, IHOP, and Hong Kong Delite Carry Out being a few of the most popular.
The housing here is a mostly made up of apartment buildings, but there are a few older pre-war single family bungalows spread across the neighborhood. Since much of the housing is new and in development or refurbished, prices in this area continue to rise as it receives more attention from the city and its residents. The improving quality of life in the area is drawing young millennials and professionals to the neighborhood to get away from the expensive, crowded feel of the city.
There is a fairly healthy mix of commercial and residential parts of the neighborhood, and Congress Heights is an excellent place for singles and up and coming professionals looking for a neighborhood in the works that can offer qualities of bigger D.C. areas without the bigger D.C. price tag.