Penn Quarter, Washington - District of Columbia - Historic East Downtown of Capital City Alive with Culture and Activity


Penn Quarter is part of old downtown Washington, D.C. It is located to the north of Pennsylvania Avenue, midway between the U.S. Capitol and the White House. It is directly to the south of Chinatown. Many people refer to it as near the Verizon Center (former MCI Center). The Verizon Center is a venue that hosts more than 200 concerts and events annually and is in this area.

Two Metro stations, Gallery Place-Chinatown (Red, Yellow and Green lines) and Archives-Navy Mem'l-Penn Quarter (Yellow and Green lines), are located in the area.

The Downtown Heritage Trail leads through this area which not only is home to historic landmark buildings housing many of the museums and theaters here but has also is home to diverse religious and cultural sculptures erected by the different immigrant population s that inhabited this area and its surroundings over time. The most obvious of these to mention would be the arch to Chinatown that borders on this neighborhood.

Neighborhood monuments and attractions here include the Reynolds Building (the old Patent Office where American poet Walt Whitman attended to Civil War wounded.). Today this structure is home to both the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian's American Art Museum, which share an enclosed Garden courtyard between them in the center of the building. Other National Museums in this neighborhood include the National Museum of Women in Arts and the National Building Museum.

The Navy Memorial is found here on Pennsylvania Avenue and adjoining it is the Penn Quarter Conference Center & Theatre, located at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue. The Center is a state of the art venue for small and large meetings, presentations in the theater and for weddings and other social events.

Three of the most popular private museums in the District of Columbia are also found in this neighborhood: the International Spy Museum, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the National Museum of Crime and Punishment.

Various movie and live theater venues are in this neighborhood including the National Theater, the Shakespeare Theater and Ford's Theater where the nation's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated by the actor John Wilkes Booth.

Several nightclubs, bars and restaurants can be found throughout the neighborhood. There is an annual Arts on Foot Festival here in September in which museums, theaters and local artists and performers participate as well as the general public.

Gallery Place in the Penn Quarter, Washington neighborhood affords a variety of name brand retail stores in a modern complex filled as well with restaurants, office space, a cinema, a health club and nearly 200 condominiums for residential space with underground parking.

At the northern end of 8th Street between D and E Streets NW, a green market takes over the street on Thursdays from April through mid December called the Fresh Farm Market allowing local residents to purchase fresh produce, cheeses and other goods directly from Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania producers.

10,000 people live in and directly adjacent to the Penn Quarter today. Seventy five percent of inhabitants rent their homes in this downtown neighborhood that has a cost of living slightly above the national average. Three fourths of the residents of this neighborhood are of Anglo descent.

Housing prices are slightly above the average for the District of Columbia while declared gross income rates are double the local average in Washington, D.C.

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