Historic Chevy Chase DC
PO Box 6292, NW Station
Washington, DC, 20015-0292
See map: Google Maps
Historic Chevy Chase DC (HCCDC) was founded in 1990 to research, document, and promote the history, design, architecture, landscape, and streetscape of Chevy Chase, DC; to encourage historic preservation; and to educate people about the history and architectural resources of the neighborhood. A not-for-profit educational/charitable institution, HCCDC is governed by a board of directors elected by the members. New members and volunteers are always welcome to join in support of the community.
HCCDC offers presentations on the residential and commercial architecture of Chevy Chase, lectures on the area's social history, home repair classes, walking tours of streets and alleys, house and garden tours, public meetings, and other events to help people learn more about Chevy Chase. HCCDC organized the successful campaign in 1995 to obtain Historic Landmark designation for the façade of the Avalon Theater and is a strong supporter of the movement that has reopened the Avalon.
The name Chevy Chase comes from a hunting area in Northern England's Cheviot Hills. In 1725, Lord Baltimore granted Col. Joseph Belt 1,000 acres in what is now Chevy Chase, DC, and Chevy Chase, MD, and Belt named his farm "Chevy Chase." The area stayed rural until 1886, when a group of developers organized by Senator Francis Newlands began buying up land along Connecticut Avenue. In 1890, Newlands, Nevada Senator William Steward and Major George Ames formed the Chevy Chase Land Company.
Starting in Maryland, and with the help of Frederic Law Olmsted's urban design firm for the DC portion, they laid out plans for an impressive, multi-neighborhood "streetcar suburb." The proposed community encompassed an area from Chevy Chase Lake to Van Ness Street, and from Rock Creek Park to Reno Road. There was a direct streetcar route downtown- Connecticut Avenue – and a scenic route – Reno Road.
A Substantial Neighborhood:
The first Chevy Chase, DC, home was built on Oliver Street in 1908. "Four square" designs were popular, as were bungalows and Dutch colonials. Many homes were mail ordered freight from the Sears catalog or from other Catalog Home Builders. The structures had to cost at least $5000 on a main street and $3,000 on side streets. Because the homes were substantial and well built, most remain to this day. Today, as the original double lots are in-filled with more contemporary structures, the area retains its eclectic charm.
Guided Tour Providers: Yes