Trinidad, Washington, D.C.

Trinidad, Washington, D.C.

Trinidad is a neighborhood located in Ward 5, in the northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. and is a largely residential area.


Trinidad is bounded to the north by Mt. Olivet Road, to the west by West Virginia Avenue, to the south by Florida Avenue, and to the east by Bladensburg Road.Schwartzman, Paul. [ Reality Checkpoint] . "The Washington Post". 2008-07-08. Page B01.] To the north of Trinidad is the more industrial (and impoverished) neighborhood Ivy City. To the west is Gallaudet University and the Florida Market (D.C.'s wholesale food district, also called the Capital City Market). To the east lies Carver Langston. To the south of Trinidad is Old City, so named because it was part of Pierre L'Enfant's original plan for the city, and generally referred to as either Near Northeast or Capitol Hill North. Located immediately south of Trinidad, is the H Street Corridor. The eastern portion of the H Street Corridor is sometimes referred to as the Atlas District, part of a neighborhood branding campaign centered around the revitalized Atlas Theater, now called the Atlas Performing Arts Center.


The land once belonged to the family of a man who lived on the island of Trinidad and planned to relocate in the DC neighborhood (which was then considered a suburb of Bladensburg, MD), but died before coming to the states. It later belonged to a member of the Corcoran family, and he bequeathed it to George Washington University (then called Columbian College). The university sold it to one of the brickworks that once operated in the area (Washington Brick Machine Company). The brickworks intended to excavate clay from the land. Realizing that they did not need all of the land, the brickworks began selling off parcels, and, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the first houses in Trinidad were built (in the western portion of the neighborhood). Many of the rowhouses are flat porch-fronted houses (similar to craftsman style, except in a rowhouse) built in a style that gained popularity during the 1920s. The area is predominantly African American, and has a large deaf student population from nearby Gallaudet University. Trinidad is historically working class, but in recent decades the neighborhood saw hard times and poverty levels were significant. Today the neighborhood is becoming more mixed in terms of income levels.

For many years, this area suffered from neglect and a high crime rate, as did many urban neighborhoods during the 1980s and early 1990s. Recent years have seen great change in the area as D.C.'s overall crime rate has dropped and high housing prices have forced buyers to look outside the traditionally coveted neighborhoods. Housing prices in Trinidad, once quite low by D.C. standards, have risen considerably. Property tax assessment values in Trinidad increased by 32 percent between 2004 and 2005, the highest percentage increase in the District. [ [ District Assessments] . "The Washington Post". 2005-02-25.] Between 2005 and 2006, Trinidad's 31 percent increase was the highest in the city again. The neighborhood's cooled a bit since then; the increase between 2007 and 2008 was 21 percent, above average in the District but not the highest. [ [ District Assessments] . "The Washington Post". 2007-02-28.] Between 2008 and 2009, the increase was 8 percent, average for the District. [ [ Around the neighborhoods] . "The Washington Post". 2008-02-29.]

Lately, signs of gentrification have become visible in the neighborhood. Formerly vacant houses are being renovated and many new people are moving to the neighborhood. Crime in the area has dropped considerably in recent years. This area was hit hard by the crack epidemic, but Trinidad's decline actually began much earlier, in the 1950s and 1960s. The 1968 rioting on H Street following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. was a hard blow from which the larger area is still recovering. A new community recreation center recently opened on the former Trinidad Playground behind Webb Elementary School.


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