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Getting to Know DC's Tiniest Historic Neighborhood: Grant Road

It's almost impossible to determine which Washington, D.C. neighborhood is the smallest because there are no official boundaries for the District's neighborhoods. Because of this, Curbed will instead focus on the smallest historic district in celebration of Micro Week: Grant Road Historic District. As the smallest historic district, it is only 33 feet wide, almost half the width of the typical 60-foot-wide city street, according to the 2016 DC Historic Preservation Plan. This District is located on 4400 and 4500 blocks of Grant Road NW and features 13 buildings that date back to the mid-19th century.


The 13 buildings on the District's two blocks serve as "visible reminders of the area's rural village origins," according to the 2016 DC Historic Preservation Plan. 12 of the buildings are single-family homes, while the thirteenth building at 4425 Wisconsin Avenue is a two-story store that serves as Tenleytown's oldest surviving commercial building. Three dwellings in the 440 block of Grant Road were built prior to the Civil War by a Tenleytown resident named Thomas Paxton.
"This district is one of a few scattered remnants of what was old Tenallytown [sic], the country village at the junction of the old Rockville/Frederick Turnpike (Wisconsin Avenue) and River Road." — State Historic Preservation Officer of the DC Office of Planning David Maloney
Originally named "New Cut Road," the two-block strip gained its new name, "Grant Road" during the Civil War. Grant Road later became part of a military road built to link the defenses of Washington, according to the 2016 DC Historic Preservation Plan. By the 1880s and 1890s, the road was one of the most densely developed streets in Tenleytown.
· 2016 District of Columbia Historic Preservation Plan [DCgov]
· All Micro Week coverage [Curbed DC]