FOGGY BOTTOM

Neighborhood Profile

Foggy Bottom is a historic neighborhood long associated with the District’s political and cultural institutions.

Foggy Bottom neighborhood

Home to George Washington University and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Foggy Bottom offers a unique blend of academic, cultural, and government influences. Located near the U.S. State Department and iconic landmarks such as the White House and the National Mall, Foggy Bottom is an ideal neighborhood for those who appreciate the city’s rich history and vibrant cultural scene.

The real estate market in Foggy Bottom is characterized by a mix of attached federal style homes, condominiums and apartments. The neighborhood attracts a diverse demographic, from students and professionals, to Hill staffers and diplomats.

Foggy Bottom’s treasured alley enclaves Hughes Mews and Snows Court offer charming and unusual 1800s row houses sprinkled with a few modern boutique condominiums.

Why We Love It

  • Central to many neighborhoods
  • Metro
  • Rows of beautiful attached homes
  • A wealth of amenities

Nearby

  • Logan Circle
  • Kalorama
  • West End
  • Georgetown

CAREN

“Our process was smooth and quick, and they designed a strategy and negotiated a sale well above our asking price; and a purchase price below asking – both in the same market.”

Foggy Bottom Market Data

Foggy Bottom History

“Hamburgh” and “Funktown”

Foggy Bottom was one of the District’s first neighborhoods, part of the town officially named Hamburgh, but called “Funktown” by local residents, for its German developer Jacob Funk. Funk bought the land, consisting of approximately 130 acres, with two other developers; Robert Peter and James Lineman. The trio divided it into 287 lots, with Peter and Lineman taking control of the parcel now known as Foggy Bottom.

“Foggy Bottom”

In 1791, the territories were given to the city of Washington and the United States government. Funk set aside land in Hamburgh for a German-speaking congregation in 1768. Concordia German Evangelical Church, located at 1920 G Street NW was finally founded in 1833. Between 1850 and 1860, the neighborhood experienced a growth spurt when The District’s population doubled. Industrial properties such as Godey’s lime kilns, the Washington Gas and Light Company, the glass works, and the Abner/Drury and Christian Heurich breweries moved in. Poor immigrant workers followed. Around this time, the village was nicknamed “Foggy Bottom” for its location on low elevation, swampy land near the Potomac river and its fog and industrial pollution.

Alley Houses

The mid-1800s gave rise to an alley housing boom in Foggy Bottom and across the city. Irish and German immigrants came to the neighborhood to be close to work, but there was no housing available. They were forced to move into the uninhabited alleys located in the middle of the squares. Home owners quickly realized there was a good profit to be made by building modest alley homes for rental purposes. These early alley dwellings were simple, frame construction additions with no indoor plumbing or heat. Shared water pumps, outhouses and lack of a sewerage system contributed to unhealthy alley conditions. Following the Civil War, a large influx of black Americans into the city greatly increased the number of inhabited alleys. In 1871, the Board of Health was established primarily to address the alley dwelling issue. Across the District, the Board condemned and demolished over 300 alley dwellings and hundreds more were slated for rehabilitation. The Board of Health was abolished within a decade and alley dwelling condemnations ceased. This created a second alley dwelling boom. Rental rates had no limits and the population soared as more renters shared alley dwellings. In the 1920s, prohibition enforcement began and a wave of newcomers set up bootleg operations in the alleys. In 1912, the George Washington University’s 42-acre main campus came to Foggy Bottom. In 1934, after conditions in the alleys had again deteriorated, the government created the Alley Dwelling Authority, a new government entity that specifically dealt with improving the city’s alleys. The ADA was authorized to demolish or redevelop alleys and decide whether or not they were worth saving. The ADA’s documentation was sent to legislation for approval. Individual legislators included Eleanor Roosevelt. Common reasons given for alley renovation designation were: too many people in one home; too many African Americans in and around the area; exterior paint had faded. After the ADA gained approval from legislation, gave occupants of the cited houses from two to four months to vacate. By July 1, 1944, all of the houses in Foggy Bottom had been evacuated and plans were set forward for renovation.

Beer And Luxury Real Estate

Foggy Bottom was also the name of a line of beer marketed by the Olde Heurich Brewing Company, founded by German immigrant Christian Heurich’s grandson, Gary Heurich. He tried to revive the tradition of his family’s Christian Heurich Brewing Company, which had ceased production in Foggy Bottom. Christian Heurich Brewing Company’s most successful products bore such local names as Senate and Old Georgetown. The brewery ceased operations in 1956 and shortly thereafter, its buildings were razed to make way for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Heurich, Jr., and his two sisters donated a portion of the brewery land to the Kennedy Center in memory of their parents, and established the Christian Heurich Family as one of the Founders of the national cultural center. Although the firm was founded in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, the modern beer was brewed in Utica, New York.

Between 1950 and 1970, a drastic change took place in Foggy Bottom. Luxury co-op and apartment buildings were constructed and the population of the neighborhood became more affluent.

The Foggy Bottom Historic District is comprised primarily of private residences and, except for a single alley warehouse and a few buildings built as corner stores, only rowhouses survive. When designated, the historic district had only 135 contributing buildings out of 226 total. The heights of the historic buildings are almost all two stories in height. Only four contributing buildings were erected at three stories originally. These modest dwellings were built in a limited range of materials and styles and were primarily flat-fronted. One of the earliest Foggy Bottom houses is a frame home at 25th and I Streets. The homes were built low to the ground rather than on elevated basements. This may have been due to the swampy nature of the land, or a cost-cutting measure. Foggy Bottom’s architecture is enhanced by the charming 19th century alley dwellings located in Snow’s Court (between 24th and 25th Streets and K and I Streets) and Hughes Mews (between 25th and 26th Streets and K and I Streets).

Sources: Wikipedia Library of Congress nps.gov npc.gov Foggy Bottom Historic District DCist The Alleys of Foggy Bottom
Neighborhood information on this site is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

Foggy Bottom Schools

FRANCIS STEVENS

Public • Grades PK-8

SCHOOL WITHOUT WALLS

Public • Grades 9-12

JACKSON-REED

Public • Grades 9-12

For a full, updated list of schools, visit EBIS. Click the cap to go to school website. School data by SchoolDigger

Where do you want to live?

THE ISAACS TEAM

Compass
1313 14th St
NW DC 20005

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