Penn Quarter, Washington DC

4.3
#9 of 9 in Neighborhoods in Washington DC
Neighborhood · Hidden Gem · Shopping
Penn Quarter is a neighborhood in the East End of Downtown Washington, D.C. north of Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Its boundaries are not well established, but they appear to extend along F Street NW from 5th to 10th Streets, and approximately H Street on the north where Penn Quarter abuts or partially overlaps with Chinatown. Penn Quarter is southeast of the Metro Center shopping district. Penn Quarter has been rejuvenated over the past several decades, stimulated first by the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation (PADC) and later, following the recession in the 1990s, by the Verizon Center, a sports, concert and event arena that opened nearby at 7th and F streets in 1997 as the MCI Center. Penn Quarter now boasts a variety of entertainment and commercial establishments including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and contemporary art galleries. The area is also home to a popular farmers market and several food, wine, art, and culture focused festivals.
Penn Quarter's initial growth occurred under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation whose Pennsylvania Avenue Plan called for a mixed-use neighborhood. It was to include residences, offices, theaters and other cultural venues, retail, hotels, and restaurants in both new and renovated buildings framing new parks and plazas. Revitalization started with a number of developments west of the FBI Building to 15th Street, most significantly the renovation of what today is the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, and the creation of new parks and plazas, including Pershing Park, Freedom Plaza, and the Navy Memorial. Market Square, The Pennsylvania, and the former flagship store of Lansburgh's department store on 7th Street were at the forefront of the revitalization efforts east of the FBI Building beginning in the mid-1980s. The nearby Verizon Center, which opened in 1997, stimulated the revitalization of adjacent blocks to the north and east and the Penn Quarter neighborhood to the south.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
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  • If you are visiting in downtown DC, you can't avoid Pennsylvania Avenue. So take some time and enjoy walking along the route from the White House to the Capitol. For those of us living in the...  more »
  • Kind of snooty but isn't that what it is meant to be. It isn't a daily drinker but a worthwhile one time visit. Expensive and sexy.  more »

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