Wesley Heights Neighborhood

Wesley Heights is flush with green. Tucked away between parkland and the similarly uppercrust neighborhoods of Palisades, Berkley, Spring Valley and Cathedral Heights, Wesley Heights is an insulated eight-block triangle of woodsy beauty, tranquility and stately homes. Sprinkled in for good measure are upscale townhouses, a dignified retail strip on New Mexico Avenue, and Horace Mann Elementary School. It's a pocket community with deep pockets.


Ride to your heart's content. Bordered on three sides by parkland, trails and bike-friendly streets, this is a cyclists's paradise. Not into two wheels? Stroll all 183-acres of Glover Archibald Park. Frolic with the squirrels, dip your toes in a stream, sing long with the birds. Or ponder our Civil War history at the ruins in Battery Kemble Park. Stop by Chef Geoff's for a bite, pick up the essentials at Wagshal's and a bottle of whatever goes with tonight's entree from Ace Fine Wines & Spirits. Cheers!

Wesley Heights Neighborhood

SCHOOLS

HORACE MANN

Public • Grades PK-5

HARDY MIDDLE

Public • Grades 6-8

WILSON HIGH

Public • Grades 9-12

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

TRANSPORTATION

0 METRO

4 BUS LINES

2 CAPITAL BIKESHARE

1 CAR SERVICES

Neighborhood History


Alliance Tract

Wesley Heights was originally part of a tract of land named "Alliance" owned by John Threlkeld of Georgetown. In 1890, a land speculation group headed by real estate broker John Waggaman and funded by Charles C. Glover purchased the land between Chain Bridge Road, Newark Street, 43rd Street, Fulton Street, Tunlaw Street and 43rd street. They named the new neighborhood Wesley Heights for Methodist leader John Wesley, in an effort to market to Methodist home buyers associated with planned United Methodist Church-affiliated American University, chartered by Congress in 1893. This seemed a successful strategy given that Glover and Waggaman were instrumental in the selection of the AU site.

Subdivision and Acquisition

The Wesley Height tract was divided into plots, some of which were sold to home buyers and investors before 1892, when Glover decided to acquire all the Wesley Heights plots between New Mexico Street and the then 43rd street to build his grand country manor, which he named Westover.

Shady In More Ways Than One

The alliance between John Waggaman and Charles C. Glover didn't end well for Wesley Heights. By 1908, Waggaman's estate had filed for bankruptcy protection and Glover had to testify as a witness. It was revealed that most of woodsy Wesley Heights had been highly mortgaged and suspicions grew that Waggaman and Glover had benefited from "nefarious activities" surrounding the financing and acquisition of not only Wesley Heights, but other large land developments in the District. In the aftermath of the bankruptcy scandal, Wesley Heights fell to neglect, occupied primarily by Westover and the few homes developed by Waggaman.

In 1897, Glover and other owners of Wesley Heights tried to sell Wesley Heights land adjacent to Nebraska Avenue and Loughboro Road to American University, but AU declined to purchase.

A New Beginning

A 1920's revitalization campaign by real estate developers W.C. and A.N. Miller involved purchasing 80 acres of Wesley Heights and the Miller brothers began constructing residences there, as well as in Spring Valley and American University Park. Their planned development in Wesley Heights was one of the first master-planned communities in the U.S. and gave the flagging neighborhood new life.

Westover's Demise

Westover occupied all 30-acres between today's Massachusetts Avenue, Nebraska Avenue, New Mexico Avenue, Cathedral Avenue, and Glover-Archbold Park. The southern half of Glover's estate, including the 1896 mansion with entrance at 4200 Massachusetts Ave. passed to his son, Charles C. Glover Jr. in 1920. Jr. named his portion "Orchard Hill" and built a large Tudor-style house. After Glover's death in 1936, Westover was rented for use as the Irish Embassy, then sold in 1959 to the National Presbyterian Church. The church razed the mansion in 1967 but elected to build a new church on Nebraska Ave. instead. Orchard Hill was also razed in 1977 after Jr's death. Replacing both are the residential developments The Towers (4201 Cathedral c. 1960), The Foxhall (4200 Massachusetts Ave., former entrance to Westover estate, c. 1971), Westover Place (c. late-1970), Sutton Towers (3101 New Mexico Ave c. 1979), Embassy Park (1981), Avalon at Foxhall (4100 Massachusetts Ave c. 1982), and the East Campus of American University (c. 2015).

Sources

Wikipedia

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