Columbia Heights -- a neighborhood reborn

For years after the 1968 riots, Columbia Heights, and especially the 14th Street corridor, lay in ruins. Businesses fled, people fled, leaving behind a neighborhood of increasing poverty and crime.

Today, miraculously, a new Columbia Heights is rising from the ashes. Businesses are returning, people are returning, and one no longer has to fear walking on 14th Street after dark.

Let's keep the revival going. But when we're done, will Columbia Heights still be home to a great mix of people of different classes and cultures? Or will increasing prices drive out all but the professional-class "gentry"?
In contrast to Mount Pleasant, which is largely isolated by Rock Creek parkland, Columbia Heights is crisscrossed by through streets, and so has a much more "urban" atmosphere than Mount Pleasant. Fourteenth Street, Sherman Avenue, and Georgia Avenue are all major north-south traffic routes. Irving, Kenyon, and Harvard Streets, and Columbia Road, are heavily used for east-west traffic.

The completion of the Metrorail "Green Line" to the Columbia Heights station, at 14th and Irving, brought new life to this neighborhood. The huge development currently under way on 14th Street, from Irving Street to Monroe, will further change the nature of this Columbia Heights area. Will all these changes be for the better? That's open to debate at this time.
map of columbia heights
The new Giant Supermarket at 14th and Park Road is symbolic of the "new" Columbia Heights. The Giant was in a much smaller building, a few blocks north on 14th. It was cramped, and a bit shabby, much like the neighborhood. The new one is big and shiny, but I think it's lost some of that friendly, neighborhood-grocery atmosphere that the old one had.

Back to home
Neighborhood demographics
Police Districts and PSAs
columbia heights giant
Page revised October 3, 2006