Victorian rowhomes in Shaw are a distinct architectural feature of the neighborhood. Duke Ellington was once a resident of Shaw, and many Howard University professors past and present also call Shaw home. Even though Shaw’s borders have been a topic of debate, the general perimeter includes U Street and Florida Avenue to the north, First Street on the east, Massachusetts and New York Avenues to the south, and 11th Street to the west. Shaw is served by both the Yellow and Green Metro lines at 2 stations.
Shaw has not experienced the same rapid growth as neighborhoods like Logan Circle or Columbia Heights. But Shaw is changing with developments like CityMarket at O and new residents joining the neighborhood.
Typically, three-bedroom Victorian rowhomes in Shaw sell for $650,000 to $800,000, and demand is strong. But in 1885 a set of six Victorian rowhomes on Ninth Street, NW (in what is now the Shaw Historic District) cost just $18,000 to build. Just think of all that we could have bought back then (with today’s money)!
Many 19th century Victorian rowhomes in Shaw have undergone major renovations to restore them to their original grandeur. Some have even been split into upper and lower condominium units. Other abandoned and boarded up Victorian rowhomes, like the 120-year-old Arlington Terrace at 901 R Street, NW, were not saved. This house was an incubator for Duke Ellington, and the site of some of his early concerts in the cabaret on the first floor. But after concerns about falling bricks, the rowhouse fell victim to a wrecking ball in 2002 when the city issued a raze order. The site on the corner of 9th and R Streets is now home to a Victorian-inspired condominium building, also called Arlington Terrace.
As you walk or drive through the neighborhood, be on the lookout for the elegant lines and colorful accents of the Victorian rowhomes in Shaw.