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McLean Gardens Community Guide Real Estate A wooded neighborhood in a suburban-like setting with city amenities nearby

Updated 5/12/2023

History and Flavor

McLean Gardens is a 43-acre housing developed in 1942 by publisher John R. McLean as temporary housing for wartime defense workers on his estate. The historic residential neighborhood is in northwest Washington DC, just north of Cathedral Heights—professionals, diplomats, and the political elite call this area home.

Thirty-one red brick apartment buildings (converted into condos in the ‘80s) originally comprised McLean Gardens. Today the wooded community has several condo developments, including The Village at McLean Garden and The Towers. The area is beautifully wooded and has over 1,000 residents.

Those residents enjoy all the amenities of city life in a suburban-like setting. As you investigate the area, you’ll first notice the spacious yards, lovely landscaping, and sense of community. The residents enjoy a community center, an outdoor pool, barbeque areas, nature trails, a dog park, a community garden, and playgrounds.  The Washington National Cathedral is only a few blocks away, and you can easily walk there to enjoy its lush, manicured gardens.  

Rodman Street NW binds McClean Gardens to the north, Idaho Ave to the south, Wisconsin Ave to the east, and 39th St NW to the west.  Most city conveniences like shopping, dining, and entertainment are within walking distance. Public transportation options (Metro train and bus) are nearby. 


Music & Parks

  • Hook HallBar with large communal tables, pop-up events, games & a garden area with cozy seating off-season.
  • Nanny O’Brien’s– Pub offering music sessions, craft brews & Guinness in narrow, wood-paneled decor with Irish signs.
  • Madam’s OrganLively blues bar offers comfort food & drinks in mason jars along with music, dancing & a roof deck.
  • Newark Street Community GardenA four-acre site at 39th and Newark Streets NW, consisting of 234 garden plots, maintained by DC residents.
  • Newark Street Dog Park– Features a crushed/decomposed granite surface that is environmentally friendly and comfortable on the paws. They have two separate play areas with two separate entrances. They encourage little dogs, puppies, and new dogs to start in the smaller play area until they feel comfortable with the other dogs in the large play area.
  • The Bishop’s Garden– 59 acres surrounding the Cathedral, providing a beautiful sanctuary year-round. Here you’ll find cultivated gardens, including the Bishop’s Garden; the Olmsted Woods, an oak and beech forest; manicured lawns; a prayer path; and the landscaped grounds and athletic fields.
  • Newark Park Playground– Small, tree-filled park containing an array of climbing structures & slides for children.
  • Turtle Park The new recreation center will house a new community room for 125 people, a lobby/gallery to display local art, a dedicated kids/craft room, and additional storage and administrative space. In addition, the exterior improvements include an updated tot lot and upper playground, a new basketball court, a new splash pad, site amenities, and landscaping.


Popular Shopping and Eats

  • Spring Valley Shopping Center A historic shopping center located at 4874 Massachusetts Avenue and 4301 49th Street, Northwest, Washington.
  • Dalton Brody LtdHere you’ll find fine gifts, from china to crystal & glass.
  • Chevy Chase Metro Center– Compact shopping plaza featuring a handful of stores & restaurants, as well as parking.
  • City Center DCCityCenterDC 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.
  • Silver New American BrasserieArt-deco style & a modern sensibility update American diner fare with a buzzy bar and spacious patio.
  • La Piquette– Convivial Gallic-themed bistro with a chalkboard menu featuring classic French fare & wines.
  • 2 Amys– Bustling wood-oven pizzeria serves innovative Neapolitan-style pies & Italian wine by the glass.
  • Raku-– Fine Asian dining at its best with a quiet atmosphere and the freshest sushi in town. 


Best Public High Schools

Best Public Elementary Schools

Public Transportation


Porter St & 37th St – Bus stop

Van Ness St & 37th St – Bus stop

Cathedral Ave NW & #4101 – Bus stop

Van Ness St & Reno Rd – Bus stop

Wisconsin Ave NW & Newark St NW – Bus stop

Massachusetts Ave NW & Macomb St NW – Bus stop

Cleveland Park – Subway station

VanNess/UDC – Subway station

Tenleytown/AU – Subway station


Median Home Value

$1,200,000 as of 2023

Renters: 12%

Owners: 88%


Population  1,481

Median household income –  $190,000

Median age: 38

Families with children – 6%

High school diploma or equivalent – 1%

College Degree: 97%

69% White

9% Hispanic

8% 2 or more races

7% African American

7% Asian