February 10, 2012 {An Evening in Cleveland Park}

What do you see when you picture a classic, city neighborhood in the early evening? Coworkers in suits popping in out of restaurants. Moms pushing strollers heading home from the grocery store. A couple on a leisurely stroll gazing into windows and open shop doors. A line of teenagers under the movie theater marquee waiting on tickets and popcorn.

This is Cleveland Park. This community has succeeded in preserving pieces of an American culture that have disintegrated everywhere else.

"Stylistically, the neighborhood is a veritable museum of changing tastes representing the overlay of history in a continuous line of development from 1894 to 1941."
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the Cleveland Park Historic District

The charm of Cleveland Park is obvious in certain ways....the Uptown Theater, an art deco movie palace, takes center stage on Connecticut Ave. Beaux Art and modernist apartment buildings sit at every corner. Walk up one of the side streets and you'll see everything from Italianate mansions to Craftsman bungalows to Sears and Roebuck cottages.

But there's more creating this feeling than just facades. When walking up Connecticut Avenue, you'll notice that everything is at a human scale. There's not a building taller than eight stories, a parking deck, or a big box retail store in sight. People can literally window shop along the locally-owned specialty stores. Just like in the old days, stores specialize in one type of product. We have a frame store, lamp store, vacuum and sewing machine store, bakery, grocery, jeweler, and Italian deli (which happens to sell the best pizza in DC!). The front doors of these shops are open nearly all the time.

Happy weekend--

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