The iconic piece of Petworth real estate is, without doubt, the brick rowhome. The vast majority of rowhomes in Petworth were built in the first half of the 20th century and have shaped not only the physical life of the neighborhood, but the cultural dynamic of the community as well.
An especially notable aspect of rowhomes in Petworth that you are less likely to find in the stately Victorian rowhomes of Georgetown and Capitol Hill, is the presence of a front porch. Additionally, rowhomes in Petworth were designed with working-class families in mind and smack of egalitarianism. Whereas in other neighborhoods congruent architecture is more likely to be found in short bursts, Petworth rowhomes were planned and built by the block. Decades later, whether these houses are inhabited by blue- or white-collar families, the structural similarity between them serves as a great equalizer. No matter how residents decorate the interior or exterior of their rowhomes, they are symbolically linked to their neighbors, by the understated brick façades that line Petworth's streets and avenues.
Whether the neighborhood’s designers intended to or not, by having front porches installed, they created one of the closest-knit communities in the District of Columbia. Petworth porches are certainly well utilized, inspiring conversation between neighbors, whether from porch to porch or from porch to street.
In the past decade, as the neighborhood has grown it has become clear that there is still very much a market for these attached and semi-detached properties. A new generation of budding families (endearingly known by their neighbors as ‘stroller-pushers’) has fallen in love with the space offered by these rowhomes as well as their proximity to a growing number of amenities and attractions.
At the beginning of Petworth’s recent economic upswing, there were a generous number of fixer-upper rowhomes to be had, but since DC's best-kept secret has become not so best-kept anymore, this type of Petworth real estate has become quite scarce. It is worth noting, however, that as the neighborhood’s prosperity shows no signs of slowing down, the purchase of any real estate in Petworth, whether a project or ready to move into, can be seen as a wise investment.