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Kalorama: Home To Washington’s Elite

Sheridan-Kalorama has long been home to Washington’s elite. Adjacent to Dupont Circle and bounded by Rock Creek Park as well as Massachusetts, Florida, and Connecticut Avenues, Kalorama offers a quiet enclave just steps away from the heartbeat of the city.  Fiercely private, the oh-so-exclusive neighborhood is distinguished by stately mansions, chanceries, embassies, and even museums.  A small supply of townhomes and condos coexist with embassies, coffee shops, and yoga studios.  Homes are well matched with the prestige and reputations of their owners who range from diplomats to elected officials to the more elusively defined power-brokers.

Residents have fought long and hard to preserve the old world charm and residential nature of the neighborhood, leveraging the area’s historic roots to block commercialization efforts.  The safety of the area, a side benefit of the embassy and secret service police presence, is another big draw.

A popular Kalorama landmark is the Woodrow Wilson home located on S Street just off Sheridan Circle.   The townhouse, constructed in Georgian Revival style, is the District’s only presidential museum and is where Wilson spent his final years in 1921-23.  Fun fact – the grandfather clock adorning the stairway was a gift from Wilson’s wife who believed the ex-president would find the chimes soothing and a pleasant reminder of his days in the White House.

The fact that approximately 25% of the neighborhood residences are embassies or apartment buildings, however, places severe constraints on the number of single family residences available.   It’s well known that properties are scarce and new listings don’t last long when they come on the market, many sold in private showings before they officially hit the market.   In 2013, sales ranged from $97K (a short sale) to $7 million with condominium units making up the largest percentage.

If the rarefied air in Kalorama isn’t enough (it is after all, Greek for “beautiful view” referring to the sweeping views from its highest point), the area also scores well on the “walkable index.”  Kalorama scores 89 out of 100 and is ranked of 19thoverall in District neighborhoods.

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