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DC’s Hidden Places: Gessford Court

by Lark Turner

DC's Hidden Places: Gessford Court: Figure 1
Gessford Court

In Hidden Places, UrbanTurf takes a look at some of the charming but lesser-known one- and two-block streets in the District. This week, we take a look at Gessford Court SE, a tucked-away alley on Capitol Hill.


DC's Hidden Places: Gessford Court: Figure 2

Gessford Court, bounded by 11th and 12th Streets SE to the east and west and Independence and C Streets SE to the north and south (map), is a cross-shaped section of alley near Capitol Hill’s Lincoln Park and Eastern Market. The alley is home to a small number of petite, mostly two-bedroom rowhouses, all but two of which face east. On the opposite side of the brick-lined street are two rowhouses and a set of garages. Many of the backyards on Independence and C Streets have views onto the alley.

DC's Hidden Places: Gessford Court: Figure 3

A 2010 article in The Washington Post describes Gessford Court as the type of enclave where neighbors hold on to keys and shovel snow for one another.

DC's Hidden Places: Gessford Court: Figure 4

Gessford Court was once home to Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., an influential Civil Rights Leader. Powell renovated the homes and turned a nice profit of about $5,000 on two of the homes after renovating them.

Needless to say, the quaint homes are worth a lot more now. The most recent sale on the street took place in 2013, when one of the semi-detached homes sold for $455,000.

DC's Hidden Places: Gessford Court: Figure 5
A cactus peeks out of a window at 21 Gessford Court.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcs_hidden_places_gessford_court/8535

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