Chevy Chase DC Neighborhood Profile


When local photographer Stacy Beck was deciding where to move with her growing family, the northwest Washington neighborhood of Chevy Chase, with its mix of suburban and urban living, seemed like the perfect fit.

“I distinctly remember when I was pregnant with my now rising junior in high school, riding a bike [ride] here with my husband,” Beck said. “We were house hunting and totally fell in love with the neighborhood. There are very beautiful and diverse houses, lots of mature trees. … It’s such a privilege to have this great green space so close to us. And I made some amazing friends here. It’s a tight-knit community – I really like that.

Photographer Peggy Fleming, who has written a book about the neighborhood, called Chevy Chase “a small town within a town”, using it as a base for the title of his book. Over the past 17 years, Beck has found a close community through block parties and school activities.

His three children went to Lafayette Elementary School, where they made their own connections in neighborhood sports leagues. Beck was amazed by a survey which revealed that 32 languages ​​are spoken by children at the school. After realizing parents needed a place to coordinate and share neighborhood activities, she started a Facebook group called “Chevy Chase Chatter.”

“Someone posted, ‘My wife has a big interview, but her apartment building is under construction. Can someone offer her a quiet space to do this Zoom interview?'” Beck said. people answered; I think all of them were strangers to this person.

At the start of the pandemic, Cecilia Paradi-Guilford moved from Kenya to Chevy Chase with her family. She had been stationed overseas to work at the World Bank. Although the pandemic has brought neighborhood activities to a standstill, Paradi-Guilford has been impressed with the support she has found.

“We needed a bike pump to blast something emergency for the kids, and within minutes 10 bike pumps had appeared on the porch because people were really eager to jump in to help,” said she declared.

Paradi-Guilford said the neighbors’ show of support is not just local but global.

“It was impressive for me to see, for example, with the Afghan refugee crisis, that there is an organized group in the neighborhood that continues to pull together,” she said.

Families flock to the newly renovated Lafayette-Pointer Park and Recreation Center in warm weather to enjoy the baseball field, playgrounds, water park, and tennis courts. The park was renamed in 2018 when community members, including James Fisher, a seventh-generation descendant of George Pointer, came together to honor the Pointer family.

George Pointer bought his freedom at age 19 for $300 after being enslaved from birth. His family settled on the land, which then belonged to a small community of black families for more than 80 years. In 1928, their homes were seized by eminent domain to build Lafayette Elementary School and Lafayette Park.

In 2015, over 100 Pointer descendants visited the park for a Party.

“Once the true story circulated in the neighborhood, we were welcomed and very skilled and tireless people trained to help us in every way,” Fisher said. “Without them, little would have been accomplished.”

Colonials, Cape Cods, bungalows and Tudor-style homes can be found in the neighborhood, many with colorful gardens. As one of DC’s first streetcar suburbs, many homes date to the turn of the 20th century. Historic Chevy Chase DC has launched a project to document the area’s heritage in “Oral House Stories”by asking residents about their accommodation.

The stories of the house cover racial pacts in the area – which prohibited African Americans from buying Chevy Chase – world wars, prominent former residents and the evolution of Chevy Chase.

Connecticut Avenue is the center of Chevy Chase with its small strip of shops and restaurants. Chevy Chase Arcade is a historic shopping center built in 1925, home to the Arcade Beauty Salon, Macon Bistro & Larder, and Bert’s Jewelers.

Jerry Malitz, a former ANC commissioner who maintains a bulletin called Chevy Chase News and Notessays the neighborhood is “very family oriented.”

“On the immediate part of where most of the businesses are on Connecticut Avenue at Chevy Chase, the restaurants are all mostly family run. You can walk into some of them and see as many children as adults,” he said.

The Parthenon is a popular restaurant serving Greek cuisine. Capital Crab offers seafood; Mamma Lucia serves Italian cuisine; and Blue 44 serves family-style American cuisine. Local bistro Little Beast offers an assortment of pizzas and brunches. Nearby amenities include Rock Creek Park, which is less than a mile away; the Friendship Heights shopping district; and the popular Politics and Prose bookstore-restaurant.

Malitz said one of the biggest events for families is a Halloween parade hosted by Lafayette Elementary. Other events, such as recent pop-ups by a new art group called Chevy Chase Artists (Ch/Art), are also attended by children.

Avalon Theater bills itself as the oldest operating movie theater in the DC metro area. In celebration of its centennial, the Avalon hosts events for all ages, including an educational program for students called “Cinema Classroom at the Avalon.”

Chas Cadwell, who is ANC commissioner for Chevy Chase, says new residents looking to get involved can find many organizations looking for volunteers.

“Everyone is looking for volunteers, whether it’s the Citizens Association, us or the North West Neighbors Village,” he said. “I guess that’s what sets us apart from most neighborhoods.”

Live there: Chevy Chase’s boundaries tend to be fluid, but the ANC places them as Rock Creek Park to the north and east; Reno Road, Nebraska Avenue and Broad Branch Road to the south; and Western Avenue to the west.

Carlos Garcia, real estate agent at Keller Williams, said 212 homes have been sold in the past year. He said sales ranged from a seven-bedroom, five-bathroom home for just under $3.3 million to a studio condo for $180,000. The average selling price of a home in Chevy Chase is $1,354,314. The average rent is $3,019 for an apartment and $5,191 for a single-family home. Garcia said 19 properties are for sale. Prices range from $150,000 for a one-bedroom condo to $3.1 million for a four-bedroom bungalow-style home.

Schools: Lafayette and Murch Elementary, Alice Deal Middle, Jackson-Reed High

Transit: The nearest subway station is Friendship Heights on the red line, which is a 16 minute walk to neighborhood. Several Metrobus lines serve the area.

About Justin Howze

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