American University Park
American University Park is a quiet and peaceful neighborhood located on the very northwestern fringes of D.C. As the name suggests, it’s named after American University, a private university ranked among the most politically active in the country. Surprisingly, though, the main campus of the university isn’t technically in the American University Park area, and the neighborhood isn’t as rowdy as you could expect – mainly because very few students actually live there.
Very Little Actual University
Truthfully, the neighborhood doesn’t quite live up to its name. Although there are a number of great schools in the area, including Georgetown Day School and Bernard T. Janney Elementary School, the only university buildings in the neighborhood are American University's Washington College of Law and its library. American University Park was developed fairly recently – in the 1920s and right from the start it was envisioned as a tranquil suburban haven for upper middle-class families.
To this day, American University Park is pretty much commerce-free, with retail present only on the outlying Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues. The heart of the neighborhood is purely residential – almost suburban – with small tree-lined streets sporting detached homes of various sizes with well-manicured lawns. Few lots have driveways, which makes for smaller yards, resulting in homes being together. This creates a friendlier and more intimate environment, where neighbors get to know and look after each other.
Settling Down in American University Park
While the housing options aren’t very diverse, with about three quarters of the homes built in colonial style, available properties don’t stay on the market for very long. From time to time, there are a number of bungalows and a few Tudors popping up on the market as well. The median property value in the area is reaching $1 million, so the neighborhood is populated mostly by educated families of young professionals, spending their work time white collar jobs downtown. It’s a community of active, friendly and caring people, united by the idea of a peaceful and close-knit local society.
The quiet, suburban character is what lures so many families to the neighborhood. Here, the idea of separating work and family time is still very much alive, with few things disturbing peace in the neighborhood. At the same time, the Tenleytown-AU metro station is just a few blocks away, and there are plenty of shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes on Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues. While living in American University Park, everything is within reach, but nothing invades your private space!