Why Cleveland Park was Dubbed “The Queen of the Washington Suburbs”


Photo: Em Hall

Once considered a summer escape, even today, some of DC’s most expensive real estate is found in Cleveland Park. The designated historic district is certainly still appealing, but generations ago the scenic neighborhood had its very own, regal nickname.

Around the turn-of-the-century, Cleveland Park was dubbed “The Queen of the Washington Suburbs”. A visit to the picturesque neighborhood is all the proof you need, as this neighborhood is not only elegant, but also quite charming.

In Cleveland Park you’ll find a number of 18th and 19th century estates still standing, including several late Victorians and Queen Anne-style homes. Over the years, the neighborhood added some deco-style apartment buildings, plus some shingle and Mission Revival homes, too.

Essentially, the neighborhood began its growth alongside the streetcar. Still, unlike some other more traditionally laid-out streets and neighborhoods in the DC area, Cleveland Park is known for its curving streets and for the fact that it sits on one of the region’s highest elevations.

Officially named after President Grover Cleveland, it’s said the former president had his own summer White House nearby. He wasn’t the only big-name connection to Cleveland Park. The neighborhood quickly developed into a “power neighborhood” of politicians, journalists, and others.

The neighborhood was so admired over the years, that moviemakers used it to film scenes for a movie that came out in the early 1960s. To add to the majesty of the neighborhood, is its proximity to the National Cathedral.

The stunning cathedral is one of the largest in the world, and an example of Gothic Revival architecture. For nearby shops, restaurants, and cafes, you can always head to Connecticut Avenue. Of course, Rock Creek Park is also in Cleveland Park for outdoor adventures, giving even more options for those who choose this part of DC to call home.

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