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Florida Avenue

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Title: Florida Avenue  
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Subject: Industrial Canal, Connecticut Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue (Washington, D.C.), Streets and highways of Washington, D.C., Dupont Circle
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Florida Avenue

Florida Avenue
The 1791 L'Enfant plan, under which Boundary Street (now Florida Avenue) marked the northern limits of the City of Washington from Rock Creek in the west to 15th Street in the northeast
Other name(s) Florida Avenue NW
Florida Avenue NE
Former name(s) Boundary Street
Maintained by DDOT
Location Washington, D.C., U.S.
West end Massachusetts Avenue
Connecticut Avenue
U / 18th Streets
16th Street
Georgia Avenue)
US 1 (Rhode Island Avenue)
North Capitol Street
US 50 (New York Avenue)
East end Starburst Plaza
Commissioned 1791
Completion 1818

Florida Avenue is a major street in Washington, D.C. It was originally named Boundary Street, because it formed the northern boundary of the Federal City under the 1791 L'Enfant Plan. With the growth of the city beyond its original borders, Boundary Street was renamed Florida Avenue in 1890.


  • History 1
  • Route description 2
  • Landmarks 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5


On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Virginia on January 24, 1791.[1] Originally, government officials did not foresee that the city of Washington would expand to fill the boundaries of the entire District of Columbia. The "Federal City", or City of Washington, originally lay within an area bounded by Boundary Street (northwest and northeast), 15th Street Northeast, East Capitol Street, the Anacostia River, the Potomac River, and Rock Creek.[2][3][4]

The first section of Boundary Street to be opened was between North Capitol Street and 2nd Street NE in 1818.[5] By 1828, the street extended westward at least to 19th Street NW.[6] Boundary Street was graded in late 1869 and early 1870,[7] which dropped the street some 7 to 8 feet (2.1 to 2.4 m) in places.[8]

Boundary Street was renamed Florida Avenue in 1890.[9]

Route description

The western terminus of Florida Avenue is at Massachusetts Avenue NW, 22nd Street NW, and Q Street NW. From that terminus to 9th Street NW, Florida Avenue follows a winding path due to the city's topography. From 9th Street NW, Florida Avenue follows a straight line to its eastern terminus at the "Starburst intersection" of H Street NE, 15th Street NE, Maryland Avenue NE, Benning Road NE, and Bladensburg Road NE.[10]

Florida Avenue passes along the foot of the hilly terrain of Northwest Washington, D.C. This hilly area is the Wicomico-Sunderland Escarpment, which is part of the Atlantic Seaboard fall line. The escarpment help marks the transition between the Appalachian Piedmont region north of the avenue and the flat Atlantic Coastal Plain terrain of the city's downtown area to the south.[11]


Gallaudet University, the American national university for the deaf, is located at 800 Florida Avenue NE. The campus consists of a unique collection of Victorian and Queen Anne style buildings on grounds with a landscape design by Frederick Law Olmstead.[12] The Florida Avenue Grill, located at 1100 Florida Avenue NW, opened in 1944 and is a historic restaurant in the city.[13]

Florida Avenue helps to define several neighborhoods in the District of Columbia. Along with Columbia Road NW, it forms one of the borders of the Shaw neighborhood and U Street retail and entertainment corridor to the east.[15]

Former landmarks on Florida Avenue include Henderson's Castle, a massive red sandstone mansion built at the corner of Florida Avenue and 16th Street NW in 1888 for Senator

  • Bednar, Michael J. (2006). L'Enfant's Legacy: Public Open Spaces in Washington, D.C. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press.  
  • Blaney, Joseph R.; Lippert, Lance R.; Smith, J. Scott (2013). Repairing the Athlete's Image: Studies in Sports Image Restoration. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books.  
  • Brown, Jules; Dickey, Jeff (2008). The Rough Guide to Washington, D.C. London: Rough Guides.  
  • Council of the City of Washington (1829). Laws of the Corporation of the City of Washington Passed by the Twenty-Sixth Council. Washington, D.C.: Way and Gideon. 
  • Council of the City of Washington (1818). Laws Passed by the Fifteenth Council of the City of Washington. Washington, D.C.: A. and G. Way. 
  • Evelyn, Douglas; Dickson, Paul; Ackerman, S.J. (2008). On This Spot: Pinpointing the Past in Washington, D.C. Sterling, Va.: Capital Books.  
  • DeFerrari, John (2013). Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats. Charleston, S.C.: American Palate.  
  • Hansen, Stephen A. (2014). History of Dupont Circle: Center of High Society in the Capital. Charleston, S.C.: The History Press.  
  • Gutheim, Frederick; Lee, Antoinette (2006). Worthy of the Nation: Washington, D.C., from L'Enfant to the National Capital Planning Commission. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press.  
  • Hagner, Alexander (1904). "Records of the Columbia Historical Society". pp. 237–261. 
  • Hawkins, Don Alexander (Spring–Summer 1991). "Washington History". pp. 10–33. 
  • Kelly, Charles Suddarth (1984). Washington, D.C., Then and Now. New York: Dover Publishing.  
  • Pippenger, Wesley E. (2004). Dead People On the Move!. Westminster, Md.: Willow Bend Books.  
  • Wang, Amy B.; Lombardi, Matthew; Duecy, Erica; Bohman, Mary Beth (2007). Fodor's '07 Washington, D.C. New York: Fodor's.  
  • Whitman, William B. (2007). Washington, D.C.: Off the Beaten Path. Guilford, Conn.: Insiders' Guide.  


  1. ^ Evelyn, Dickson & Ackerman 2008, p. 8.
  2. ^ Hagner 1904, p. 257.
  3. ^ Hawkins Spring/Summer 1991, p. 16.
  4. ^ Bednar 2006, p. 15.
  5. ^ Council of the City of Washington 1818, p. 28.
  6. ^ Council of the City of Washington 1829, p. 7.
  7. ^ "Laws Passed by the Sixty-Seventh Council of Washington City, D.C.". The Evening Star. September 17, 1869. p. 1. 
  8. ^ Hansen 2014, p. 28.
  9. ^ "Boundary Street No longer; it Will Be Known as Florida Avenue in the Future". The Washington Post. January 15, 1890. p. 8. 
  10. ^ Neibauer, Michael (September 29, 2014). "New Gateway to H Street NE? Mixed-Use Building Proposed for Site Next to Starburst Intersection". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  11. ^ Gutheim & Lee 2006, p. 15.
  12. ^ Whitman 2007, p. 60.
  13. ^ DeFerrari 2013, p. 112.
  14. ^ Brown & Dickey 2008, p. 211.
  15. ^ Wang et al. 2007, p. 293.
  16. ^ Kelly 1984, pp. 98-99.
  17. ^ Pippenger 2004, pp. 341-342.
  18. ^ Blaney, Lippert & Smith 2013, p. 171.



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