Neighborhood Profile Chevy Chase DC


When local photographer Stacey Beck was deciding where to move with her growing family, the Northwest Washington neighborhood of Chevy Chase felt like the perfect fit for its mix of suburban and city living.

“I remember riding a bike as a pregnant young woman now in high school. [ride] Here with my husband,” Beck said. “We were house hunting and absolutely fell in love with the area. It has very nice, different houses, lots of mature trees. … It’s such a privilege to have this big green space so close to us. And I’ve made amazing friends here. It’s a tight-knit community – I really like it.

Photographer Peggy Fleming, who wrote a book about the neighborhood, called Chevy Chase “a small town within a city,” based on the title of her book. Over the past 17 years, Beck has found a close community through block parties and school activities.

Her three children went to Lafayette Elementary School, where they formed their own bonds in neighborhood sports leagues. Beck was surprised by his research that the children at the school spoke 32 languages. After realizing that parents needed a place to coordinate and share local activities, she created a Facebook group called Chevy Chase Chatter.

“One person posted, ‘My wife has a big interview, but her apartment is under construction. Can anyone give her a quiet place to do this highlight interview?’” Beck said. “And a lot of people responded; I think they were all strangers to this guy.

When the outbreak began, Cecilia Paradis-Gilford moved from Kenya to Chevy Chase with her family. She is stationed abroad for work at the World Bank. Although the pandemic has put a stop to neighborhood activities, Parady-Gilford has been surprised by the support she’s received.

“We needed a bicycle pump to give the kids something to inflate urgently, and within minutes, 10 bicycle pumps showed up on the front porch because people were so eager to jump in to help,” she said.

Parady-Gilford’s support of neighbors is not only local, but global.

“For example, it was exciting for me to see an organized group supporting joint efforts with the Afghan refugee crisis,” she says.

Families flock to the improved Lafayette-Point Park and Recreation Center in warmer weather to enjoy the baseball field, playgrounds, splash park and tennis courts. The park was named in 2018 when community members, including James Fisher, a seventh-generation descendant of George Pointer, came together to honor the Pointer family.

After being enslaved from birth, George Pointer bought his freedom at the age of 19 for $300. The family settled on the land, which was later owned by a small number of black families for more than 80 years. In the year In 1928, his home was seized by eminent domain to build Lafayette Elementary School and Lafayette Park.

In the year In 2015, more than 100 pointer races traveled to the park to gather for the festival.

“Once the true story spread through the neighborhood, we accepted it, and some very talented, tireless people stepped up to help in any way they could,” Fisher said. “Without them, it wouldn’t have been very successful.”

Colonials, Cape Cods, bungalows and Tudor-style homes can be found in the neighborhood, with many beautiful gardens. As one of DC’s original streetcar suburbs, many homes date back to the early 20th century. Historic Chevy Chase DC has launched a project to document the neighborhood’s legacy through oral “house histories” by interviewing residents about their homes.

The stories of the house cover racial covenants in the area – African Americans were barred from buying into Chevy Chase – world wars, famous former residents and the evolution of Chevy Chase.

Connecticut Avenue is the center of Chevy Chase with shops and restaurants. Chevy Chase Arcade Built in 1925, it is a historic commercial center, featuring an arcade beauty salon, Macon’s Bistro and Larder and Burt’s Jewelry.

Former ANC commissioner Jerry Malitz, who runs the Chevy Chase News & Notes, said the area is “very family-oriented.”

While most of the businesses in Chevy Chase are located on Connecticut Avenue, the restaurants are all basically family-friendly. Some of them you can walk in and see as many children as adults,” he said.

Parthenon is a popular restaurant serving Greek cuisine; Capital Crab offers seafood; Mamma Lucia serves Italian food; and Blue 44 serves family-style American cuisine. Local bistro Little Beast offers a variety of pizzas and brunch dishes. Nearby amenities include Rock Creek Park less than a mile away. Friendship Heights Marketplace; and the popular bookstore-restaurant Politics and Prose.

One of Malitz’s biggest events for families is the Halloween parade hosted by Lafayette Elementary. Other events will also involve children, such as the latest pop-up from a new art group called Chevy Chase Artists (Ch/Art).

The Avalon Theater bills itself as the oldest movie house in the DC metro area. Celebrating its centennial, Avalon has events for all ages, including an educational program for students called “Cinema Class at Avalon.”

Chase Cadwell, who serves as the ANC commissioner for Chevy Chase, said new residents who want to get involved can find organizations looking for more volunteers.

“Everybody needs volunteers, whether it’s the civic association or us or the village of Northwest Neighbors,” he said. “I guess that’s what sets us apart from a lot of neighborhoods.”

Live there. Chevy Chase’s boundaries tend to be fluid, but the ANC places them as far north and east as Rock Creek Park; Reno Road, Nebraska Avenue and Broad Branch Road to the south; and West Street to the west.

Carlos Garcia, a real estate agent at Keller Williams, sold 212 homes last year. Sales range from seven-bedroom, five-bathroom homes for less than $3.3 million to studio condos for $180,000, he said. The median home sale price in Chevy Chase is $1,354,314. The average rent is $3,019 for an apartment and $5,191 for a family home. Garcia said 19 properties are up for sale. Prices range from $150,000 for a one-bedroom condo to $3.1 million for a four-bedroom bungalow.

Schools: Lafayette and Murch Elementary, Alice Dale Middle, Jackson-Reed High

Transition: The nearest metro station is Friendship Heights on the Red Line which is a A 16-minute walk from the area. Several metrobus lines serve the neighborhood.

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