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DC’s Hidden Places: Ellen Wilson Place

by Lark Turner

DC's Hidden Places: Ellen Wilson Place: Figure 1
Ellen Wilson Place

In this week’s Hidden Places, UrbanTurf looks at an easy-to-stumble-on block near Barracks Row with a long history. Ellen Wilson Place SE, nestled on Capitol Hill near the Southeast Freeway between 6th and 7th Streets SE to the east and west and G and I Streets SE to the north and south (map), is home to a mixed-income, 134-unit housing development.

DC's Hidden Places: Ellen Wilson Place: Figure 2

The Townhomes on Capitol Hill were all built in 1999 with funding from the federal government, replacing 134 vacant units at the rundown Ellen Wilson Dwellings. Tearing down the old project and replacing it with the new residences cost $25 million, The Washington Post reported in November, and at the time many doubted whether a mixed-income community would work out.

DC's Hidden Places: Ellen Wilson Place: Figure 3

There’s a long waiting list for the subsidized units on Ellen Wilson Place, and many who lived in the old Ellen Wilson Dwellings didn’t make it into the new project. Thirty-three of the development’s units are reserved for those making less than 25 percent of area median income; 34 are reserved for those making to 25-50 percent of the median income; and the remainder pay market rates. I Street SE and Ellen Wilson Place, both one-block streets, were created by architect Amy Weinstein when the first housing project was torn down in an effort to integrate the development with the neighborhood. It looks like that effort has worked; the development can easily escape the notice or rouse the curiosity of passersby, which is why we decided to feature it this week.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcs_hidden_places_ellen_wilson_place/8430

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