City Desk

What’s Wrong in LeDroit Park?

Via the Washington Post this a.m. comes news that the latest round of property-tax assessments has increased slightly citywide. But the variations from block to block provide the really interesting story.

For instance: Brentwood, for the second straight year, posts big increases in assessments. Guess the garbage isn't stinking quite as much as in the past.

Another for instance: Assessments in LeDroit Park have gone down just a hair, by 1.7 percent. What's gone wrong over there? Did someone's cornice fall off? Or did someone in the tax office decide, Hey, Florida Avenue is still a dump?

And while I'm on a property-tax rant, I pose the following question to our world of D.C.-philes out there. Who in this vast universe actually knows, off the top of your head, which neighborhoods fall into the tax office's "Old City I" designation and its "Old City II" designation?
Yes, these terms are used to cover all those neighborhoods in the the city's gentrification plume. Yet no one, I maintain, has any clue where the boundaries lie.

If you're out there, Mr. or Mrs. "Old City I and Old City II," catch up with me in the comments section. If you can convince me that you have this nailed, and you don't work in the tax office, I'll give you a Washington City Paper T shirt plus a $25 money order, even if the latter has to come out of my own pocket, because I haven't cleared this one with corporate yet.

And merely Googling the tax office's definitions isn't going to get you there. I want a phoner interview with you too.

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  • cminus

    Are all people who for professional reasons have to know where Old City I and II are ineligible, or just those who work in the tax office?

    (In all honesty, I only know the general locations of Old City I and II, not their boundaries, so I can't claim the t-shirt unless I bust out the maps, which is just a lower-tech form of using Google to cheat.)

  • Erik Wemple

    Hmmm, that is not the convincing command of this arcane geography that I was looking for. But if no better prospects come in over the transom, we'll be talking. Let's give it till Monday.

  • cminus

    I'm going to disqualify myself from consideration for any award, since after I posted I went and hauled out the maps for a refresher.

    (And I wouldn't have gotten it right. I had Old City II close enough for government work, but left off a big slice of Old City I. And, if Erik has a map himself, he can probably guess which part.)

  • http://imgoph.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    alright, i think i qualify here, for a few reasons.

    1) i'm a cartographer, so i'm always looking at maps.

    2) i'm a DC neighborhood nerd, so i'm always talking to people about how they would define neighborhoods in the city. i mean, hell, i think i want to replace NoMa with swampoodle more than anyone else out there.

    3) i just know this, because i have been looking at buying a house, so i've been well-versed in DC neighborhood maps for too long.

    so here's the deal: old city #2 is basically everything in the l'enfant city, south of florida, north of mass, and west of north cap.

    old city #1 is basically the rest of the l'enfant city, minus the capitol hill historic district, NoMa, and the southwest urban renewal area.

  • Downtown Rez

    IMGoph's descriptions sound about right. I'd think a trip to 941 N Cap would seal the deal.

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