Mount Pleasant Historic District-Washington DC


1700 Block of Monroe St., Mt. Pleasant Historic District
Photograph by Chris Shaheen

Mount Pleasant is a densely developed urban neighborhood with a distinct architectural character. It contains a rich array of architectural forms representing every period of its development. Significant vestiges of the village’s origins are successfully juxtaposed with the residential, commercial and institutional buildings of the early 20th century.

An early building in the district, Ingleside (Stoddard Baptist Home) NR at 1818 Newton Street was designed by Thomas Ustick Walter and constructed in 1850 in Italian Villa style. A new addition was added in the 1970s. An example of architecture surviving from the first years of the village is the vernacular house at 3423 Oakwood Terrace built in 1871 by S.P. Brown. The turn of the century marked a major change in the appearance and population of Mount Pleasant. The rural atmosphere that distinguished the early village soon gave way to a distinctly 20th century appearance. With the advent of an extensive streetcar system and the revival of the building industry, many parts of the district were expanded as residential areas. Mount Pleasant with its healthy elevation and beautiful wooded terrain, was a prime location for this development. Rowhouses of many sizes and styles were built throughout the area serving as a unifying element, framing the large detached houses, semi-detached houses, and groups of townhouses. The majority of construction took place from 1900 to 1930 and reflects in large part the popularity of the Classical Revival styles in both privately commissioned and speculative designs.

Mt. Pleasant Festival, 1999
Photograph by Chris Shaheen

The North Side of the 1800 Block of Park Road NR boasts a unique group of 10 single-family residences built between 1903 and 1911 in the Colonial Revival style and designed by some of Washington’s best known architects. Another distinctive group of 12 semi-detached Georgian Revival rowhouses is 1644-1666 Park Road NR . They were designed by Appleton P. Clarke, Jr., and built in 1906.

Mount Pleasant Street serves as the commercial corridor for the community. A number of apartment houses, churches and schools are scattered throughout the community. The most significant institution and formal architectural structure is the Mount Pleasant Branch Library at the corner of Lamont and 16th Streets. It was constructed in 1925 and designed by New York architect Edward J. Tilton in the Italian Renaissance style.

Mount Pleasant Historic District is roughly bounded by 16th St., NW, on the east; Harvard St., NW, on the south; Rock Creek Park on the west; and Piney Branch Park on the north. The buildings listed above are private and not open to the public. Metro stop: Woodley Park-Zoo.