What You'll See!

Come and be a witness to change in Columbia Heights, where the charmingly traditional meets the latest in urban planning.

Rich in history, Columbia Heights stands today as a dynamically evolving neighborhood dotted with new venues for performing arts and zesty Latin eateries.

Cultural Convergence: Columbia Height Neighborhood Heritage Trail

This self-guided walking trail traces neighborhood history from elite suburb through the civil disturbances of 1968 to busy commercial corridor. Follow the signs to learn about Columbia Heights' diverse population and take in panoramic views of the city.

Columbia Heights

Until April 1968, the 14th Street corridor between Irving Street and Park Road was one of the city's most important shopping and entertainment destinations outside Downtown.

But that changed abruptly when the disturbances following the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led to extensive looting and burning here and in other parts of DC. For decades afterwards, boarded-up businesses and empty lots marred much of the 14th Street corridor. Now change has swept the area again.

The 1999 opening of the Columbia Heights Metro station has spurred massive redevelopment, and exciting new businesses are drawing activity to the area. Apartment buildings and rowhouses have filled in some of the empty lots, and a large shopping complex was recently completed.

You'll find a lot to explore in Columbia Heights. Check out a GALA Hispanic Theatre production en español, with simultaneous English translation. GALA operates out of the renovated historic Tivoli Theater.

Don't forget to stroll down the side streets to see some of DC's most elegant early 20th-century rowhouses, then grab a bite at one of the nearby small restaurants along 14th Street and Park Road.

Cultural Assets Inventory

Cultural Tourism DC published its Columbia Heights Cultural Assets Inventory and Map in September 2008. This detailed report highlights historic sites, architecture, cultural venues, and other institutions that shaped this vibrant neighborhood. It was developed with significant input from the Columbia Heights Roundtable, a group of community stakeholders Cultural Tourism DC convened in 2006-2007. To read a copy, download the pdf.

For More Information

Check out our Calendar for up-to-date information on exhibitions, lectures and other heritage happenings in the city.


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