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Neighborhood Index > The Bungalowlands
The Bungalowlands

Demographics

Population: 38,816
Percent Black: 84.3
Percent White: 10.4
Percent Hispanic: 3.6
Percent Foreign-Born: 6.6
Percent Children: 17.2
Poverty Rate: 10.9 percent
2005 Median Home Sale Price: $393,719
2007 Violent Crimes Per 1,000 Residents: 11.5
2007 Property Crimes Per 1,000 Residents: 41.3

Sources

Touchstone

A tale from one lifelong Bungalowlands resident: One gentleman, his nickname was Archie Bunker to my mother because of the way he complained to my parents about me as a kid. I used to throw apples at his German Shepherdwe had an apple tree, and I thought this was funnythat dog used to stand at the gate, and bark, and spin around in a big old circle. Dont know what I was thinkin, but I started in with the apples, so the owner got riled up, spoke to my mother, and said something prettywell, racist. So he got the nickname Archie Bunker.

More Touchstones

Riggs Park, Michigan Park, Woodridge, Fort Lincoln, Gateway
On a warm summer night in Woodridge, when the only sound is the ticking of lawn sprinklers, it's hard to begrudge folks their standards, even if you'd have an easier time getting a drink in Kabul.
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

Arbitrary Rankings

Kid-Friendliness: 6

Between the Catholic schools (St. Anselms Abbey, St. Francis de Sales), the charter schools, and the public schools, the three Rs have a stable home in the Bungalowlands. Crime is reasonably low, mainly limited to car break-ins and auto theft.

Housing: 7

Real estate bust notwithstanding, dont go looking for bargains too soon: While a 1927 bungalow-style detached 2-bed, 1-bath goes for $248,000, a 1900 4-story, 6-bedroom, 6-bath house goes for $825,000. Most of the houses are reasonably pretty.

Eats: 3

The Bungalowlands dont offer much in the way of neighborhood food. Saints Bourbon Street Restaurant purveys solid Crescent City fare on Rhode Island Avenue in Woodridge, while Artmosphere across the border in Mount Rainier offers solid coffee and a packed (if tragically hip) lunch menu. Still, as one Bungalowlands resident told me, What were missing is an upscale, nice restaurant.

Consumer Goods: 2

The Bungalowlands are great for living and crummy for shopping. If cash is burning a hole in your pocket, youll most likely have to jump the line, as one resident put it, into either Maryland or Brookland, where Rhode Island Avenue boasts standard-issue chains like Home Depot and Foot Locker.

Nightlife and Culture: 0

Good night and good luck.

Intangibles: 5

You cant put a price on wide-open green spaces, but you can sure as hell put a power ranking on them. Plus, the D.C. residential style arguably originated here, with George Santmyers (see essay). The moral? They know how to do residential in the Bungalowlands.

The Bungalowlands in the City Paper Archives

Michigan Park

No Parking Zone
North Michigan Park residents play defense against a new recreation center.

The Ministry of New Psalmistry
A fourth-generation preacher is rewriting the gospel of church music.

Eau d’It
The Michigan Park smell that just won’t go away.

Comments

  • I would like to thank you for such a great article. While I found one about the neighboring area which I am a native of a little offensive, this is a great read and touches on some of the beauties of this area. The one thing though that did give you away as an outside was your question about a Bar, my last questions however is, were you at the Rite Aid and not CVS. The only CVS in this area are on 12th Street and in the R.I. Avenue shopping center.

    Lastly you should have reached out to Ward 5 Councilman Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. who is a native to this area as well as having his father serve as the Council Member as well, his family is a history lesson in and of its self in this area.

  • This article is refreshingly poignant -- sketching the neighborhood with a twinkle of wit and an open-eyed ease of aphorism, and coloring between the lines with real human stories.

  • Langdon should be included in the title of bungalowlands. Most people include Langdon as Woodridge anyway. Woodridge even has their signs on the posts in front of Langdon park. Langdon is nothing but bungalows and tree lined streets.

    Have you been to Langdon?

  • W. Thomas Lavash Feb. 19, 2009
    11:56 am

    My partner and I are one of the relative newcomers to Michigan Park (6 years), after 17 years in Adams Morgan. While the article accurately portrayed some parts of the various neighborhoods that comprise "Bungalowlands", it way-missed the mark on the diversity of housing styles and architecture in this part of the city. For example, Michigan Park has few, if any, of those banal bungalows. The quiet streets of Michigan Park are lined with the standard-fare brick-box Colonial so prevalent in DC, and these streets (Webster, Varnum, etc.) resemble any street in Upper NW. The ordered rhythm of such streets is broken only by the tremendous and majestic oaks that also line these beautiful streets.

    What this article missed most, however, was the prevalence of fabulous Mid-Century Modern housing stock that, unfortunately, is so rare in DC. These homes are worthy of their own article, as each has a history. Our home was commissioned by the previous owners in 1960 and designed by Lewis Giles, Jr., an African-American architect. It is a stunning example of International-style MCM, with walls of glass and soaring 18 ft. ceilings, and we have spent the past six years undertaking a complete renovation. The home across the street is a jewel-box of MCM, commissioned for the current owner in 1957 by one of the first A-A's admitted to the AIA, Mr. Robert Madison. There are many others, too.

    Fortunately, Michigan Park is being discovered by former residents of the Hill, Dupont, Adams-Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, etc., who want to stay in the City and desire the quiet, yet incredibly convenient, lifestyle of our great neighborhood!

    CityPaper, how about it?!

  • My husband and I just moved to Michigan Park after 13 years on Capitol Hill. We love the neighborhood. Agree on the previous poster's discussion of architecture. My husband found this neighborhood after investigating mid-century-modern architecture in the city. We have one of the ubiquitous (to the neighborhood) homes, but it is not a bungalow but rather a mid-century rambler built in 1957 and now pristinely restored.

    We loved the Hill, and were worried that we would lose our sense of community by moving to this semi-suburban feeling enclave but our neighbors are wonderful and that hasn't been the case at all.

    We can't wait to meet more of the neighbors. I hope the City Paper will do another article on Michigan Park soon -- maybe encourage someone to open a local coffee shop! My husband and I keep thinking maybe we should do it.

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