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Neighborhood Narratives: Crestwood

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Crestwood is part of the residential area known as the Gold Coast and is among the first neighborhoods north of the White House to feature single family homes and lawns. Settlers were first attracted to the area because of what is now called Rock Creek. Centered around the water that could turn mill wheels, the area was well suited for recreation, forts, crops, commerce and, eventually, homes.

It was the mills that cemented the success of the area. In 1794, millwright Isaac Peirce purchased 150 acres along the creek, and continued to acquire property until he had more than 1,200 acres in what was then Washington County. Pierce is credited with building a mill on the Argyle, Cowall and Lorn parcel that became Crestwood. The Argyle mill was located in today’s clearing below Boulder Bridge along Beach Drive.

Today’s Crestwood is a neighborhood of green lawns, towering colonial houses and quiet streets just to the north of Columbia Heights. It is an upscale residential area, close to but isolated from the city’s more popular neighborhoods.