How Logan Circle the Circle Become Logan Circle the Neighborhood

by Nena Perry-Brown

Logan Circle historic district map, courtesy of Office of Planning. Click to enlarge.

Logan Circle is one of the more in-demand and high-priced neighborhoods in the District. But when did the neighborhood surrounding Logan Circle itself become the Logan Circle neighborhood? UrbanTurf decided to find out. 

Logan Circle was built in 1873 as Iowa Circle until Congress renamed it in 1930. An eight-block radius surrounding the circle was nominated as a historic district in 1972. 

"In contrast to other late 19th century neighborhoods, where demolition, rebuilding and 'rehabilitation' have stripped away much of the period character, half-a-century of neglect in Logan Circle has left the area deteriorated, but remarkably intact," the historic application reads. The Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) was established in 1973.

When it comes to being described as a neighborhood in print, however, most mentions of Logan Circle referred to the area immediately surrounding the circle until the 1980s. Here is a sampling of how the overall neighborhood boundaries have been identified throughout the years:

  • In 1987, The Washington Times stated that "the Logan Circle area is bordered by 7th and 15th Streets and Florida Avenue and L Street NW", an area that includes a sizeable portion of what is typically identified as Shaw. That same year, The Washington Post described the neighborhood in two different ways: as spanning from 7th to 16th Street between Massachusetts and Florida Avenues, and from 9th to 16th between M and S Streets NW. The LCCA covered the former area at the time.
  • In 1990, the Post considered the neighborhood to be from T to Massachusetts Avenue between 9th and 16th Streets. In 1996 and 1999, however, the boundaries were noted as being from S to Massachusetts between 9th and 15th. Another 1996 article stated that the neighborhood was "southeast of 14th and U Streets".
  • When the adjacent 14th Street Historic District was established in 1994, the Logan Circle neighborhood was identified as spanning from N to S Streets between 11th and 16th.

Readers, which description of the Logan Circle neighborhood boundaries rings true to you?

See other articles related to: logan circle, history, historic district

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/how-logan-circle-the-circle-become-logan-circle-the-neighborhood/14973

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