Truxton Circle

Truxton Circle

Truxton Circle is a neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C., bordered by New Jersey Avenue to the west, Florida Avenue to the north, New York Avenue to the South, and North Capitol Street to the East. Politically, it is partially in Ward 5. It is bordered on the north byBloomingdale and LeDroit Park, to the east by Eckington, to the west by Shaw and Mt. Vernon Square Historic District and the south by the NOMA developmental zone. Named for a traffic circle that was demolished in 1947, the neighborhood is reclaiming its identity after decades of being presumed nameless.

The old traffic circle was constructed about 1900 at the intersection of Florida Avenue and North Capitol Street, centered on a large and ornate fountain built as a monument to Navy CommodoreThomas Truxtun. The circle, which saw more than its share of traffic jams and accidents, was demolished in 1947. As the circle slipped into history, so did the identity of the predominantlyAfrican American neighborhood. It was sometimes lumped in with Shaw, or mistaken for Eckingtonto the north, or called by the dubious name of “Florida Park,” but most residents considered it nameless.

Truxton Circle contains late 19th-century houses and historical schools, including Armstrong Manual Training School (where Duke Ellington received his high school diploma) and the originalDunbar High School, the first all-black public high school in the United States. Along with Armstrong, the former John Mercer Langston School, John Fox Slater Elementary School and theMargaret Murray Washington School buildings are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood is currently home to several parks and playgrounds, such as Truxton Park, which lies at the corner of First Street and Florida Avenue, New York Avenue Playground at the corner of First Street and N Street, and Bundy Playground in between O Street and P Street.