Glover Park row homes

Glover Park row homes

When the 2010 Census data was released, the tracts that encompass Glover Park, a largely residential neighborhood to the north of Georgetown and Burleith, showed a 25 percent increase in the number of kids and teenagers living in the area in 2010 versus 2000.

This youth population surge should not be all that surprising. The area has a number of the sought-after characteristics that young parents look for in upper Northwest neighborhoods, like a close-knit community atmosphere and quiet streets lined with quaint row houses, as well as a commercial zone with a small but growing foodie scene. However, in addition to being an area for young families, Glover Park may be the preppiest neighborhood in DC next to Georgetown. 

Hidden Away

Glover Park is bounded by Glover Archbold Park to the south and west, Fulton Street to the north, and Wisconsin Avenue to the east. With no dedicated Metro station, the area isn’t as well known as some of its neighbors like Cleveland Park or Woodley Park, but it’s got a growing following.

Much of that is due to the neighborhood’s many amenities for the rugrat set. It’s home to Stoddert, one of Northwest’s best elementary schools as well as Guy Mason Park, a softball field and green space located just off Wisconsin Avenue. There’s a neighborhood listserv that serves as a useful resource for parents, as well as a website listing potential babysitters. And the commercial strip along Wisconsin Avenue is very family friendly: Max’s Best Ice Cream is filled with photos of kids diving into giant cones, and Blue Ridge restaurant (which is currently being renovated) was holding “stroller happy hour” every Thursday at 5pm.

The citizens’ association issues a monthly newsletter and hosts an annual Glover Park Day (scheduled for June 18 this year). There are two large, well-established (and hard-to-get-into) community gardens, as well as a popular farmers’ market at Hardy Middle School, located just outside the community’s southeast edge, that reopened for the season in early May.

A Preppy Section of DC

Besides its little ones, Glover Park’s population includes federal government employees, lawyers, nonprofit workers, and academics. But, given its proximity to Georgetown University, the area is perennially host to a good number of recent grads and graduate student renters, which gives it an overwhelming preppy feel.

It’s hard to miss the popped-collar-and-khakis crowd in the various establishments lining Wisconsin Avenue. Some are Georgetown students on the loose; others are probably folks who would have preferred to live a few blocks down the hill, but couldn’t afford it.

Homes on Hall Place

Homes on Hall Place

But that doesn’t mean living here is a bargain. Street after street in Glover Park is lined with neat three and four-bedroom row houses, built in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and these homes come with hefty price tags. The median price for properties sold since January is $735,000, Ariadne Henry, an agent with Sophia Henry Real Estate, told UrbanTurf. On Hall Place, a neighborhood street where there are a number of homes built in the Edwardian style that are a few decades older, houses tend to sell for between $900,000 and $1.5 million.

Glover Park includes several condo and co-op buildings, but nothing that would be considered new construction. Most of the units—located in sprawling complexes and a few small, garden-style buildings—were built as apartments in the late 1950s and 60s, then converted to condos in the 1970s. The 14 units that have sold since January fetched an average price of $235,000.

There are also plenty of rental units located in row house basements and large complexes that cater to the recent-grad population. The basement units tend to be cheaper and a one-bedroom can rent for as little as $1,000 a month; units in big buildings average around $1,600 a month for a one-bedroom and $2,300 for a two-bedroom.

Glover Park community gardens

Glover Park community gardens 

A Virtual Dead End — And That’s a Good Thing

Very few roads lead in and out of Glover Park, and most of the neighborhood serves as a dead end. That means there’s very little through traffic, and consequently, not a lot of crime.

“The people next door to us have been here 25 years, and they’ve never heard about or seen a crime,” said Jim Folliard, a 20-year neighborhood resident. He conceded that there might be the occasional theft from a car, but no burglaries or break-ins. And indeed, the police department’s online crime map shows remarkably few violent crimes.

But Ben Brandt, a Georgetown graduate student, was less sanguine. “I got mugged here a year ago,” he told UrbanTurf, explaining that he was walking home around 2am from a night out and was jumped by two men who punched him and tried to steal his wallet. His enthusiasm for the area since that incident has gone down, but he conceded that, for the most part, it’s a “nice, quiet, and calm” neighborhood.

Cali-Mex? Barbeque? Down Home Southern?

The neighborhood’s commercial activity is largely restricted to Wisconsin Avenue, which is a busy strip of shops and stores, including a Whole Foods, a post office, a recently-opened Chipotle, several gyms, and a much-lauded hardware store.

Outside Rocklands Barbeque on Wisconsin Avenue

Outside Rocklands Barbeque on Wisconsin Avenue

But it’s the restaurants that have been attracting particular notice. Little by little, Glover Park has developed a mini food scene, featuring casual eateries. Kitchen 2404 serves southern comfort food and Town Hall, which offers American standards, has been a favorite in the neighborhood for years. Surfside is a relaxed Cali-Mex joint, and some say Rocklands Barbeque has the best ribs in the city. These options and others like the aforementioned Blue Ridge and Breadsoda, with its sandwiches and shuffleboard, mean that residents don’t have to leave the area for a quick, quality bite to eat.

The Metro’s Not Necessary?

“I walk to Georgetown a lot,” Folliard said. “And if I’ve had a few beers, I can take the bus back.” Folliard used this example as an effort to emphasize the area’s convenient location, despite not being near a Metro station.

“I used to live in the suburbs and was working downtown,” he said. “But since I moved here, I haven’t driven to work.” The neighborhood is well served by several buses, including the D1, D2, and the 30 lines, that run south to downtown.

For drivers, the area is relatively well-located. Wisconsin Avenue is a major north-south artery, and Rock Creek Parkway isn’t far. To head southwest into Virginia, drivers pass through Georgetown and cross Key Bridge; I-66, the George Washington Parkway, and Route 50 are just across the bridge.

The only thing is that parking can be tricky. According to a resident quoted in a 2007 Washington Post profile of the neighborhood, the area is home to 8,000 residents but only 1,473 on-street parking spaces.

The Bottom Line

It’s hard not to like cute, peaceful, preppy Glover Park. After all, other than a few thousand parking spaces, the neighborhood isn’t lacking much. It’s a great place to raise kids, has a little cachet of its own, and feels like a real community, despite being in the middle of the city.

Amanda Abrams is a Washington, DC-based journalist who has written feature stories for The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington City Paper.