This week for Seven Georgetowns, GM will tackle the second of the two districts that he has actually lived in: Georgetown Heights.
For those just tuning in, GM recently posited that Georgetown as a total neighborhood can be broken up into seven distinct “sub-neighborhoods”. And further, he argues that each of these districts has a distinct identity and can stand on its own as offering a great deal, even when ignoring the rest of Georgetown around it.
Georgetown Heights is the name GM is ascribing to the northeast part of Georgetown. Although it should be said that Georgetown Heights was a name that was occasionally used in the past to describe this part of Georgetown.
For GM’s purposes he is limiting it mostly to the area north of Q St., between 28th St. and 32nd. He also includes the three blocks south of Q St. between 29th and 32nd (although that is slightly debatable). Additionally, he includes the area north of R St. from 32nd to just east of the library.
So what are the Georgetown Heights like? In two words: elegant and quiet. Even ignoring the historic estates there, this is a gorgeous quarter that feels separate and apart from the rest of Georgetown.
What does it offer as a stand alone neighborhood? The most obvious answer is basically everything north of R St. That includes the historic Oak Hill Cemetery, Montrose Park, Dumbarton Oaks, and Dumbarton Oaks Park. Each of these verdant Arcadias is more transporting that the previous.
Dumbarton Oaks gardens are among the most beautiful gardens in the country. But Dumbarton Oaks is more than just its gardens. The museum houses treasures from ancient Greece and Rome, the Byzantine Empire, and pre-Columbian South America. Moreover, it hosts a fantastic music series in its stunning music room.
And then of course there’s Tudor Place. And also Evermay, which is not nearly as open to the public, but which nonetheless opens its gates occasionally for various events.
Adding to these cultural landmarks is the Jackson Arts Center, which is a collection of dozens of artists who use the historic Jackson School for studio space. It holds a bi-annual open studios to let the public in to see their work.
Beyond culture, Georgetown Heights also offers, in Sara’s, one of Georgetown’s invaluable corner markets. Stopping there after work every few days is one thing that GM misses most about living in that part of Georgetown.
For recreation, it’s hard to top Montrose Park. It’s got open fields to kick a soccer ball around (GM’s daughter took soccer lessons there for years). It’s got a good playground. It’s got tennis courts too, but they’re in pretty bad shape. Luckily they will soon be renovated.
There are no restaurants or other commercial space beyond Sara’s in Georgetown Heights. Nor are there any civic institutions. And in that sense, this is a district that cannot provide everything its residents need.
Residentially speaking, Georgetown Heights offers a wide variety of options. There are nearly a dozen apartment buildings, offering some of the most affordable housing options in Georgetown. Of course there are plenty of expensive rowhouses. And at the top end, there are many extremely expensive homes sitting on properties that are simply massive for Georgetown. As mentioned above, this all results in a very quiet little corner of Georgetown. Some might say too quiet, but that’s a matter of opinion.