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Capitol Hill


Capitol Hill’s landmarks include not only the United States Capitol, but also the Senate and House office buildings, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Marine Barracks, the Washington Navy Yard, and Congressional Cemetery.

It is, however, largely a residential neighborhood composed predominantly of row-houses of different stylistic varieties and periods. Side by side exist early 19th century manor houses, Federal townhouses, small frame dwellings, ornate Italianate bracketed houses and the late 19th century press brick row-houses with their often whimsical decorative elements combining Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne and Eastlakian motifs.

The main non-residential corridor of Capitol Hill is Pennsylvania Avenue, a lively commercial street with shops, restaurants and bars. Eastern Market is an 1873 public market on 7th Street SE, where vendors sell fresh meat and produce in indoor stalls and at outdoor farmers’ stands. It is a community anchor for nearby stores and restaurants. It is also the site of an outdoor flea market every weekend. After a major fire gutted the main market building on April 30, 2007, restoration of the building began. It is expected to be completed in early 2009. Merchants have been temporarily relocated to a structure across the street.

Barracks Row (8th Street SE), so called because of its proximity to the U.S. Marine Barracks, is one of the city’s oldest commercial corridors. It dates to the late 18th century and has recently been revitalized.

Recent estimates in Capitol Hill newspapers suggest as many as a third of all Members of Congress live on Capitol Hill while in Washington.

Famous people who were born in the Capitol Hill neighborhood include John Philip Sousa and J.Edgar Hoover, Frederick Douglasass’ former house can be found in the 300 block of A Street Northeast. (In the 1970s the Douglass house was later used as an African Art Museum).

Capitol Hill has several local community newspapers, such as the Hill Rag and the Voice of the Hill.

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