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Howard University Community Guide Real Estate A residential neighborhood with Howard University at its center!

Updated 3/24/2023

History and Flavor

Located in Washington DC’s Shaw neighborhood, Howard University is known for its jazz clubs and Black-owned businesses. One part of the area is affectionately known as “Little Ethiopia.”  Immigrants from that African nation own several companies there.

Howard University (HU) is a federally chartered, private, historically black research university in the District.  It’s classified as an “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity” and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The 256-acre campus, often called “The Mecca,” is in northwest Washington, D. C. After World War I, significant improvements, additions, and changes occurred at the school. Architect Albert Cassel had new buildings built under his direction. Howard University has several historic landmarks on campus, such as Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall, and the Founders Library.

19th-century Victorian row houses dominate the residential neighborhood. Gentrification beginning in the late 1970s and 80s has lasted into this century and has generated discussions between the older inhabitants of the community and new inhabitants. 

The neighborhood is diverse and becoming more so by the year. Liquor stores and empty buildings are now giving way to coffee shops, eateries, bike shops, and shopping.  Condos are being built alongside the older homes. 


Music & Parks

  • The Howard Theatre– The Howard Theatre is a historic theater located at 620 T Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C. Opened in 1910, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
  • Black CatMultilevel spot serves as a bar & cafe with vegan options & an indie/rock/alternative live-music venue.
  • 9:30 ClubA nightclub and concert venue in Washington, D.C. In 2018 the 9:30 Club was named one of the ten best live music venues in America by Rolling Stone, and in 2019 the club was named “Venue of the Decade” by VenuesNow.
  • Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music HouseA coffeehouse/music shop with vinyl & java for sale, plus listening booths & a 1947 recording booth.
  • DC9 NightclubTri-level hipster hangout with a snug basement bar, music stage with dance parties & rooftop deck.
  • Crispus Attucks ParkKnown for its secluded feel, this popular urban park includes lots of green space, benches & trails.
  • The Park at LeDroitQuaint green space offering a playground, benches & walking paths, plus a fenced-in area for dogs.


Popular Shopping and Eats

  • Howard University Barnes & Noble In-store book shopping.
  • Rhode Island Avenue Shopping Center- Unfussy strip mall with discount grocery & clothing stores, a nail salon & automotive services. 680 Rhode Island Ave NE
  • Sankofa Video Books & CaféRelaxed coffeehouse offering light cafe bites plus African-focused books & film screenings.
  • Guild International– Sorority and fraternity supplies.
  • Lettie Gooch– Simply appointed boutique featuring funky women’s dresses, tops, rompers & colorful jewelry.
  • Madewell– Chain featuring stylish apparel, including denim jeans, accessories, shoes & bags.
  • NuVegan cafe– At NuVegan café, you will experience a home away from home, hospitality, and knowledgeable team members that enjoy wowing your taste buds. Their in-house prepared dishes, smoothie & juice bar, ample dining space for group hangouts couples great with live music and occasional events.
  • Wow Cafe– Chain serving burgers, Cajun dishes & wings with over a dozen sauces, plus other American fare.
  • Food Corner Kabob & Rotisserie– No-frills Indian & Pakistani counter serving a halal menu of burgers, kebabs & curries.
  • Negril– Jamaican standards from jerk & curry to coco bread & beef patties in a bright counter-service spot.
  • Chef Skip– Offering a wide variety of seafood take-out items.


Best Public High Schools

Best Public Elementary Schools

Public Transportation


W Street + 4th Street– Bus stop

Georgia Ave & Howard Pl– Bus stop

W Street & 2nd Street– Bus stop

Georgia Ave NW & Howard Pl NW– Bus stop

2nd St & Bryant St– Bus stop

Bryant St & #301– Bus stop

Georgia Ave & Euclid St– Bus stop

Georgia Ave & Barry Pl– Bus stop

Median Home Value

$689,100 as of 2023

Renters: 48%

Owners: 52%


Population  3,535

Median household income –  $114,423

Median age: 32

Families with children – 20%

High school diploma or equivalent – 7%

College Degree: 92%

55% African American

35% White

5% Hispanic

3% Asian

2% Other