THE CIRCLE AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL
It was only in the decades after the Civil War that Dupont Circle began to bloom into the residential area it is today.
One of the neighborhood’s signature landmarks, the eponymous traffic circle that’s become something of a public square for residents and visitors alike, was built in 1871. It’s original name: Pacific Circle. The name was subsequently changed in 1882 in honor of admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont. In 1920, Du Pont’s statue was replaced with the existing marble fountain.
The first half of the 20th century saw the neighborhood at the heart of major changes. Among these were the growth of stately embassies and mansions for the city’s social elite. You can still appreciate these architectural marvels during a casual stroll through Dupont Circle’s streets.
The second half of the 20th century saw the neighborhood slowly bounce back from the devastation of the 1968 riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Over subsequent decades, stores, bars, restaurants, and shops rose. Soon, Dupont Circle became one of the trendiest spots in the city.
Dupont Circle’s trendy reputation continues to this day. Its proximity to downtown DC and surrounding neighborhoods like Georgetown and Logan Circle make it one of Northwest’s most accessible spots.
You can find everything you’re looking for on its main avenues and side streets. Dining options range from fast-casual (Shake Shack) to small plates (Iron Gate), and entertainment options including everything from fine arts (at either The Phillips Collection or one of the neighborhood’s smaller galleries) to billiard games (at Buffalo Billiards).
Still, the neighborhood hasn’t lost its historical ties. In fact, it celebrates them. Residents of Dupont Circle are proud to call as neighbors historical sites including The President Woodrow Wilson House, The Society of the Cincinnati, The Mansion on O, and the Heurich House Museum.