Shaw Neighborhood

Shaw DC blends its vital history and legacy as an important cultural center with Victorian and Federal architecture, unique retail and some of the District’s coolest eateries.

Defiantly different Shaw is coming into its own once again. Meander through its historic alleys, gallery hop, shop unique boutiques. Score a table of top-notch fare at The Dabney. Catch a production at the Howard Theatre. Savor the Pastrami at Smoked & Stacked. People-watch while you dine on the patio at Shaw Tavern, then sample craft beer at Right Proper Brewing Company. Spice it up at Chaplin’s. Fill your larder from Union Kitchen and Glen’s Market. Take a moment at the African American Civil War Memorial. Till the community garden. Slurp noodles at Haikan before a movie at the Landmark. Frost yourself at Buttercream Bakery. Get your yoga on. Take your sweetie to Hazel on date night. Enjoy tequila and tapas at Espita Mezcaleria. Luxury condos and small houses are hot here. Find one that fits and weave yourself into the urban tapestry.

SHAW DC neighborhood



Public • Grades PK-5


Public • Grades PK-5


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



Mt Vernon/Convention Center (to south), Shaw/Howard (to north), both on the Green & Yellow line.




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Neighborhood History


Originally named “Uptown,” the Shaw DC neighborhood grew from freed slave encampments outside the city boundaries, which ended at “Boundary Street,” known today as Florida Avenue. The neighborhood later took the name “Shaw” for Civil War Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the local school of the same name. Shaw was a hub for black intellectual and cultural life at the turn of the 20th century, when Howard University was chartered. In the 1920’s the neighborhood was frequented by such notables as Alain LeRoy Locke, Langston Hughes and Duke Ellington. The 1968 riots hit Shaw hard, leaving the area without electricity and many of the neighborhood’s buildings were destroyed by fire. A population drain followed, crime increased and the once thriving neighborhood wouldn’t recover for many decades. Gentrification began in Shaw during the late 1970’s and conservationists battled over neighborhood lines. The 14th and U Street Coalition accused the Dupont Circle Conservancy trying to co-opt their neighborhood and its history. Today’s Shaw remains a neighborhood in transition, with its boundary lines still being redefined. Its 19th century Victorian row houses are being protected and restored while new development from North Shaw to Truxton Circle is reshaping and restyling the area.


Notable residents of LeDroit Park include Civil War vet General William Birney (mansion on Anna J. Cooper Circle at T & Second Street); Senator Edward Brooke, the first African-American to win a senate seat by popular vote (1938 Third Street in 1919); Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Ralph J. Bunche (the first African-American to receive the prize); General Benjamin O. Davis Sr., the first African-American general and father of Ben O. Davis Jr; commander of the World War II Tuskegee airmen; Hon. Oscar De Priest. the first Black Congressmen after reconstruction (419 U Street); Poet Laureate Paul Laurence Dunbar (321 U Street); Jazz legend Duke Ellington (420 Elm Street); Major Christian Fleetwood, one of the first black persons to be awarded the Medal of Honor (319 U Street); Civic leader Julia West Hamilton (320 U Street); Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition (Fourth & T Streets); Ernest Everett Just, biology professor in biology and biogenetic researcher (412 T Street);

VIPs, Cont'd.

Dr. Jesse Lawson and Dr. Anna J. Cooper, prominent educators and founders of Frelinghuysen University. Lawson was also a Howard University-educated lawyer who advocated for the rights of poor D.C. residents (201 T Street); Playwright Willis Richards, credited with having the first serious play to be performed on Broadway (512 U Street); Heiress Mary Church Terrell, civil rights activist and suffragette (326 T Street); Walter Washington, the first mayor of DC elected under home rule resided (408 T Street); Clarence Cameron White, famed violinist and fine arts educator; Dr. Garnet C. Wilkinson, Superintendent of Colored Schools during segregation (406 U Street); Octavius Augustus Williams, U.S. Capitol barber and first black person to move into LeDroit Park in 1893 (338 U Street).

Notable Sites

The Shaw DC neighborhood boasts a number of cultural landmarks, including: Ben’s Chili Bowl, Lincoln Theatre, Howard Theatre, Dunbar Theater, White law Hotel, CityMarket at O, Shiloh Baptist Church, The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library, Thurgood Marshall Center and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

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Neighborhood information on this site is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.