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It is roughly bounded by M Street, NW or Massachusetts Avenue NW to the south; New Jersey Avenue, NW to the east; Florida Avenue, NW to the north; and 11th Street, NW to the west.

Neighborhood Feel: 

The northern boundary is marked by Florida Avenue, NW with its adjacent neighborhoods of Columbia Heights and LeDroit Park. Gridded streets dotted by small Victorian rowhouses, Shaw grew out of freed slave encampments. Originally called “Uptown”, the neighborhood thrived in the late 19th and early 20th century as the pre-Harlem center of the African-American intellectual and cultural life. The most famous Howard/Shaw native to emerge from that time period was Duke Ellington. Following Martin Luther King’s assassination in April 1968, major riots erupted in a number of DC neighborhoods including Shaw. This became the starting point for a generation of serious economic decay and drug-related violence and neglect.

Today, Shaw/Howard University is a vibrant and exciting part of the city marked by art galleries, great restaurants, unique shops, a biergarten, and a wonderful outdoor plant nursery-cum-social hotspot (OLD CITY green) at 9th and N. While Shaw is not changing in the same way as other nearby neighborhoods, it is evolving. Over the last decade, newcomers have moved in to the area’s statuesque Victorians, smaller federal-style row houses, and boutique condo buildings, transforming blocks formerly characterized by abandoned houses and crack dealers. The lack of development in Shaw has as much to do with its landscape as it does with a desire among residents to keep it the way it is. Unlike Columbia Heights, for example, the area doesn’t have huge tracts of developable land and much of it is covered by historic districting that limits building options (thankfully).

Among Shaw’s many landmarks are Ben's Chili Bowl, the Lincoln Theatre, Shiloh Baptist Church, the Anthony Bowen YMCA Building, and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

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Shaw is served by the Mt. Vernon Square/7th Street-Convention Center and Shaw/Howard University on the Yellow and Green Lines and the U Street/African-American War Memorial/Cardozo Green Line Metro stations.


Whole Foods Market at P Street
Two smaller markets:
10th Street Market - 1000 S Street NW
Eleven Market - 1926 11th Street NW
14th and U Farmers' Market - Corner of 14th Street and U Streets NW (Open Saturdays Seasonally)


Public Schools for Howard/Shaw:
Thomson Elementary School - 1200 L Street NW
Cleveland Elementary School - 1825 8th Street NW
Walker-Jones Education Campus - 1125 New Jersey Avenue
Francis-Stevens Education Campus - 2425 N Street
Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson - 2001 10th Street
Cardozo High School - 1200 Clifton Street
Dunbar High School - 1301 New Jersey Avenue
Private Schools for Howard/Shaw:
Gonzaga College High School - 19 Eye Street NW



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