Jefferson Terrace – Washington DC

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Description

The Alley Dwelling Authority (ADA) funded the construction of Jefferson Terrace in Washington, DC between 1937 and 1938. Jefferson Terrace consisted of 16 homes.

Jefferson Terrace was described as being in the square bounded by I, K, 6th, and 7th streets southwest. However, it appears that square no longer exists, with K Street SW perhaps being shortened at some point to make room for a newly developed area bounded by I Street, Maine Avenue, and 6th & 7th streets. Additionally, the DC Housing Authority does not list Jefferson Terrace as one of their currently-managed properties, and Google satellite imagery does not show single-family homes in the described area. It seems likely that the Jefferson Terrace homes were demolished.

The ADA was one of the earliest New Deal initiatives to provide better housing for low-income Americans. It replaced unsafe alley dwellings in Washington, DC with more modern and affordable houses and apartments. The ADA existed from 1934-1943 as a federally controlled special authority. It then slowly evolved into today’s DC Housing Authority, an independent agency of the DC Government.

Source notes

Report of the National Capital Housing Authority, For the Ten-Year Period 1934-1944, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1945, available on Hathitrust (accessed July 14, 2020).

Public Housing,” DC Housing Authority (accessed August 9, 2020)

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on August 15, 2020.

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Location Info


K St. SW and 6th St
Washington, DC

Location notes: Located on K St. S.W., between 6th and 7th Streets

Coordinates: 38.878411, -77.019904

2 comments on “Jefferson Terrace – Washington DC

  1. Jandolin Marks

    I lived there, and walked to the Bowen School. There was a deli not far from Jefferson Terrace. We lived in the 3rd door from the left. The unit had 2 bedrooms upstairs with a bathroom. Downstairs was the living room, maybe a tiny bathroom ? small kitchen, and a back porch that led down to the alley. We always bought vegetables from a black gent who drove a horse drawn wagon, and shouted “vegetable man.” We got candy from a lady named Miss Minnie, and I believe her shop was facing the direction of the water, but not right up on it. We moved just before the S.W. demolitions began, and it made me sad to see what happened to the vintage neighborhood. I am 73 years old.

  2. Hi Jandolin! Would you be interested in talking more about your experience living in SW pre-urban renewal? I am working on a podcast about that right now! Please contact me at [email protected] if you would like to talk
    Thank you!

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