At the Turn of the 20th century, Logan Circle Center of African American Culture
After the Civil War, Logan Circle became home to Washington DC’s wealthy and powerful, and by the turn of the 20th century it had become one of the nation’s centers of African-American intellectual and political culture, home to luminaries such as educator Mary Jane Patterson, boxer Jack Johnson, artist Alma Thomas and jazz legend Duke Ellington. In the middle of the 20th century, the nearby 14th Street corridor was home to many car dealerships. Although the neighborhood endured a period of extended decline starting around the 1950s, with 14th Street ravaged by race riots in 1968. Several efforts to revitalize the area included several attempts at gentrification between 1970 – 1985, incuding low interest rehabilitation loans and grants and very low cost homestead programs, designed to attract and keep residents in the community.
Logan Circle is an historic neighborhood in Washington DC that is primarily residential with impressive three-and-four-story stone and brick townhouses, surrounding the traffic circle (Logan Circle).
During the American Civil War, the site now known as Logan Circle was an executioner’s square, and the surrounding area was nothing more than a rough-and-tumble shanty town. During the 1870s, shortly after the end of the war, the area became a fashionable residential enclave when developers constructed dozens of stately three- and four-story brick and stone town houses. The majority of these Gothic Victorian, Second Empire (note the mansard roofs) and Romanesque Revival homes (distinctive for their soaring, square or round towers with steep-gabled or conical roofs) still stand today. Unique details such as grand bay windows and frilly wrought-iron balustrades make this leafy neighborhood a magnet for fans of architecture and design.
Logan Circle was part of Pierre L’Enfant’s original plan for DC, and was called Iowa Circle until 1930, when Congress renamed it to honor John Logan, Commander of the Army of the Tennessee during the Civil War and later the Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. A bronze equestrian statue of Logan stands in the center of the circle.
In the 1980s, a portion of 14th Street became a red light district, mostly known for its strip clubs and massage parlors. In recent years, the commercial corridors along 14th Street and P Street have undergone significant revitalization, and are now home to a variety of luxury condominiums, retailers, restaurants, art galleries, theater, and nightlife venues. The 14th Street area has become a local hotspot with great ethnic restaurants ranging from upscale cuisine to casual dining.
The Logan Circle neighborhood is located between the Dupont Circle and U Street corridor, bordered by S Street to the north, 10th Street to the east, 16th Street to the west, and M Street to the south. The traffic circle is the intersection of 13th Street, P Street, Rhode Island Avenue, and Vermont Avenue. The closest Metro stations are Shaw-Howard University, Dupont Circle and Farragut North.