915 Rhode Island Ave. NW

915 Rhode Island AvenueEver since I moved in basically across the street from this property, I have wondered about it. The high, barred windows and tightly boarded windows and doors give it an institutional and vaguely hostile feel.

A little internet snooping turned up little information on the property. DC city government’s online property sale database (which includes all sales from 1999 to the present) doesn’t contain a record for the address. The property assessment database lists its owner as Howard University and its value for 2007 as $631,750, with the existing structure contributing $159,820 to the total. The database also includes tax payment information since January 2005, and lists several payments to the city by Howard.

A Google search gives the impression the address has housed a physician’s office, insurance agent, and perhaps even a place of worship. All of this has made me begin to wonder how many other unused properties Howard owns. Sandwiched between a residential YWCA facility and Shaw Junior high just two blocks from the Metro, I have no doubt the property could interest a developer, or be better utilized by Howard University.

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. You’re definitely on to something Rob. I live in Ledroit Park, and Howard is definitely not a good neighbor as far as I’m concerned. One example that really offends me is the Mary Terrell Church house on the 300 block of T St, NW. This historic house (I believe it has federal landmark status) is owned by the University. It has been essentially demolished by neglect.

    Here’s a link with an (old) photo:


    I don’t know much about how Howard makes property management decisions, but to allow such a historically significant gem to rot is shameful in my opinion.

    Jake Ritting

Comments are closed.