Dupont Circle Information
Outside of the D.C. metropolitan area, many people associate Dupont Circle with the large traffic circle fashioned within it. In actuality, Dupont Circle is much more than a mere traffic route. It is a neighborhood, a culture and, to some extent, an attitude. A colorful, cultural area, Dupont residents and frequenters convene to celebrate everything from highbrow intellectualism to campy fun. This quirky, yet earnest place attracts every type of person because of its own diverse composition. Looking back through the history of Dupont Circle lends some clues to why this progressive community is such a popular destination in the Washington, D.C. area.
Samuel Du Pont, a rear admiral in the Civil War, is the namesake of Dupont Circle. Formerly named Pacific Circle, a posthumous sculpture was erected in honor of Du Pont's military service and the area was renamed Dupont Circle. During the late 19th century, Dupont Circle drew attention from the prosperous and they took up residence there, turning the neighborhood into a then-trendy enclave. The Queen-Anne style row houses seen in the present day harkens back to this era when this style of architecture signified the affluence of high society. Dupont Circle has always been arguably a bit ahead of its time. As the population grew, a more diverse group of people claimed Washington, D.C. as home. In fact, Frederick Douglass, the famous author and civil rights activist, once lived in the Strivers section of Dupont Circle. Historical calamities such as the post-WWII era and civil rights riots took a toll on Washington, D.C., including Dupont Circle. The spirit of activism in the '70s infused Dupont Circle with a progressive attitude fueled by its equally progressive new residents. Dupont Circle evolved into a hipster haven that encouraged individuality and free expression.
Dupont Circle is big in personality, but not necessarily in size. Less than half a square mile, the main thoroughfares of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut Avenues border Dupont. D.C. is an extremely navigable city and this accessibility extends to Dupont Circle. The Washington Metro services the entire D.C. metropolitan area, including parts of Maryland and Virginia. Dupont Circle is reachable from the subway's Red Line. The subway stop is right in the heart of Dupont Circle. This way, residents and visitors land right in the center of their desired destination. Taking a tour around Dupont Circle is sure to yield an eclectic mix of things and places. Bookstores, cafes, ethnic restaurants, and museums are just a few establishments that line the main corridors of Dupont Circle. During the evening, Dupont comes to life even more. Cafes turn into performance stages for D.C's prolific artist scene. It is not unusual to encounter impromptu street corner concerts that are actually entertaining. If Dupont Circle could be summed up in one word, it would probably be diversity. Although with a place comprised of so many establishments and personality, including its own, it is very difficult to place a singular label on Dupont Circle.