Cleveland Park History

The Cleveland Park Historical Society has complete information and resources on the fascinating history of the area. The information below–and many more interesting articles–is available on their website.

What is now Cleveland Park began in the 18th century with Pretty Prospects (later known as Rosedale), a single estate of nearly a thousand acres at 3501 Newark Street. The yellow farmhouse in the middle of the Rosedale property was the home of Revolutionary War General Uriah Forrest. The rear section of the Rosedale Farmhouse dates to the 1730s and is the oldest house in Washington. Today, the grounds in front of the farmhouse are preserved by the Rosedale Conservancy for everyone to enjoy.

During his first term as president, Grover Cleveland bought a house just south of Rosedale from Uriah Forrest’s descendants and turned it into a summer retreat. That house, which was razed in 1927, stood near 36th Street between Macomb and Newark Streets.

In the 1890s, the extension of the electric streetcar line up Connecticut Avenue made possible for the first time an easy commute between upper northwest and downtown Washington. Cleveland Park was developed as a streetcar suburb, with some of the earliest houses from this phase of development located on Newark Street, Highland Place, and on Macomb Street near the site of President Cleveland’s old house.

Cleveland Park is noted for its architectural diversity. The neighborhood showcases all the popular architectural styles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries—Queen Anne, Shingle, Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Tudor Revival, Craftsman foursquares and bungalows—as well as important modern houses, including one by I.M. Pei and several by Waldron Faulkner and his son Winthrop Faulkner

This brochure from the D.C. Historic Preservation Office provides a great introduction to Cleveland Park’s history and architecture.

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