The Capitol Hill Neighborhood Guide
Capitol Hill is the largest residential neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and one of the oldest and most densely populated.
The eponymous and iconic 289-foot Capitol building, where many Capitol Hill residents work, was completed in 1800.
The neoclassical landmark is at the intersection of D.C.’s four quadrants, and is the origin point for its gridded numbered street system. Capitol Hill is also the country’s political nexus, encompassing the U.S. Supreme Court building, the Library of Congress and the House and Senate office buildings.
Although it was known as the home for many prominent congressmen in the 19th century, residents now remark that the area feels unpretentious, with great restaurants and improved schools, but it has not been exempt from the aggressive gentrification that has transformed the District over the past three decades.
Modernist-style rowhouses replaced many of the neighborhood’s nonhistoric, obsolete or vacant structures. The primarily residential neighborhood is dominated by these rowhouses, which bear a variety of architectural influences, from ornate Italianate bracketed houses to the whimsical late 19th-century press brick rowhouses. The Capitol Hill Historic District, which was expanded in 2005, is one of the largest in the U.S.
Pennsylvania Avenue and Barracks Row are vibrant commercial corridors. The 146-year-old building that houses Eastern Market also continues to be a hub of commercial activity. Devastated by a fire in 2007, the market underwent a $22M reconstruction and redesign, allowing it to reopen in 2009. The building was restored to its 1873 appearance and had its HVAC system, restrooms and lighting upgraded.
Capitol Hill has an affluent yet diverse population. The area median household income is $147K, almost double D.C.’s $76K average median income. Students, recent grads, empty nesters and families intermingle on Capitol Hill. Longtime residents have watched crack houses be converted to luxury condos. The area is walkable, and well-connected to D.C.’s public transit network, with five Metro stations on three lines and Circulator and bus routes.