In the mood for shopping, a massage, dinner for two, or a visit to a gallery or museum? Dupont Circle has something for everyone. Check them out!
Dupont Circle is
well-served by Metro's Red Line to Dupont Circle (two exits: south to 19th Street and north to Q Street).
The Circulator departs from 19th Street and N Street NW, on the south side of Dupont Circle to Rosslyn. It is an express bus that runs regularly.
Dupont Circle is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the country, earning a 98 on the walkability score. So put on your comfortable shoes and explore!
It was the Board of Public Works under the leadership of Alexander “Boss” Shepherd that spearheaded the way for the development of Dupont Circle (then Pacific Circle). Nevada Senator William Morris Stewart led the “California Syndicate,” which bought up tracts of undeveloped land around the area. The neighborhood’s style was set when Senator Stewart erected his Victorian mansion (now demolished) in the 1870s. By the late 1880s, the Dupont area was an affluent and vibrant neighborhood.
In 1871 the Corps of Engineers began construction of the Pacific Circle. In 1882, Congress authorized a memorial statue of Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Dupont to recognize his Civil War service; a bronze statue was erected in the middle of the Circle in 1884. In 1921, the statue of Dupont was replaced by a double-tiered white marble fountain, paid for by the DuPont family. It was designed by noted sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon. Three classical figures, symbolizing the Sea, the Stars, and the Wind, are carved on the fountain’s central shaft.
The Dupont Circle Historic District, established in 1978, is a primarily residential historic district generally extending in all directions from Dupont Circle. Two types of housing stock dominate the historic district: freestanding mansions built in the styles popular between 1895 and 1910 and three and four-story row houses, many of which are variations on Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque styles. The mansions line the broad, tree-lined diagonal avenues that intersect Dupont Circle, and the row houses line the grid streets. This juxtaposition of house types and street patterns gives the area a unique character.
Commercial corridors along Connecticut Avenue and P Street west of the circle developed on the first floor of residential buildings, later giving way to commercial buildings. The early commercial buildings were small in scale – no more than four stories. In more recent years, large-scale commercial office buildings have been constructed on Connecticut Avenue, around the Circle itself, and along P Street to make this neighborhood the transition from downtown to residential areas to the north. – Credit: National Park Service