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Anacostia Community Guide One of the oldest neighborhoods in Washington is affordable and close to everything!

Updated 4/27/2023

History and Flavor 

European settlers first occupied the area in 1662, and Anacostia became part of the District of Columbia in 1791. One of Washington DC’s earliest neighborhoods and named for the Anacostia River located east of the area, Anacostia is situated at Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr Avenue.

Captain John Smith explored this area in 1608 by sailing up the Anacostia River and mistaking it for the Potomac. There he met the Anacostan Indians. The core of Anacostia was incorporated in 1854 as Uniontown as an affordable place for the working class, most employed at the Navy Yard. 

The original town charter forbade sales or rentals to anyone of Irish or African descent. However, Frederick Douglass, known as the “Sage of Anacostia,” bought the estate initially belonging to the founder of Uniontown in 1877 and lived there until he died in 1895. 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Anacostia Historic District has an extensive frame and brick blue-collar housing collection dating back to the late 19th and early parts of the 20th century. Most two-story buildings in this area are brick and wood frame style.


Arts & Sights

  • Honfleur GalleryA contemporary art space between Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE (11th Street Bridge) and 13th Street SE. Honfleur maintains a rigorous schedule of exhibitions and programming focusing on cutting-edge contemporary exhibitions by artists from the USA and abroad.
  • The Anacostia MuseumA community museum in the Anacostia neighborhood. It is one of twenty museums under the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution and was the first federally funded community museum in the United States.
  • The Anacostia PlayhouseCompact black box theater presenting an array of plays, dance performances & concerts.
  • The White House/United States CapitolThe official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. The US Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. 
  • The Big Chair At one time, considered the world’s largest chair, this giant-sized sculpture is a public artwork designed as an advertisement by Bassett Furniture.
  • Fort Stanton ParkCurrently controlled by the National Park Service, the fort was constructed in September 1861 to defend the Navy Yard. It’s situated at the center of the Eastern Branch Line (Anacostia River) and was one of the more considerable earthworks in this sector of the Defenses of Washington.
  • The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Established in 1988 as a National Historic Site, the site preserves the home and estate of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African Americans of the 19th century. Douglass lived in this house, which he named Cedar Hill, from 1877-1888 until he died in 1895. Perched on a hilltop, the site offers a sweeping view of the U.S. Capitol and the Washington, D.C., skyline.


Popular Shopping and Eats

  • City Center D.C. – CityCenterDC is a mixed-use development consisting of two condominium buildings, two rental apartment buildings, two office buildings, a luxury hotel, and a public park in downtown Washington, D.C. It encompasses 2,000,000 square feet and covers more than five city blocks.
  • The Eastern Marketa public market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., housed in a 19th-century brick building. Eastern Market is DC’s destination for fresh food, community events, local farm-fresh produce, and handmade arts and crafts on weekends.
  • L’Enfant Plaza showcases a stunning three-story glass gateway entrance, an outdoor square, more retail, and enhanced office space to revitalize this popular destination just two blocks from the National Mall in Southwest Washington, D.C. — an area undergoing an exciting waterfront transformation. 
  • Iverson MallA newly renovated 600k+ SF mixed-use property. Consisting of over 500k SF of retail/restaurant space and 100k SF of office space. First-rate retail and popular fast food restaurants. 


Best Public High Schools

  • Anacostia High School has 296 students a 7:1 student-teacher ratio
  • Ballou High School has 650 students, a 9:1 student-teacher ratio

Best Public Elementary Schools

Public Transportation


Anacostia Metro station

Median Home Value

$411,000 as of 2023

Renters: 64%

Owners: 36%


6,306 residents

Median household income –  $43,000

Median age: 33

Families with children – 31%

High school diploma or equivalent – 40%

College Degree: 41%

91% African American

4% White

4% Hispanic

1% Other