Suburb in the City: American University Park
DC Urban Turf characterizes the American University Park neighborhood as “one of DC’s last frontiers” before the suburbs. AU Park residents are more direct – they love the suburban feel of the neighborhood but with the cachet and convenience of a District address. AU Park, true to its name, is near American University but few of the college’s buildings are actually located there. The neighborhood extends from Massachusetts Avenue to the Southeast to Wisconsin Avenue to the Northeast, Nebraska Avenue to the Southeast, and Western Avenue to the Northwest. Populated by young families and senior citizens, AU Park comprises largely residential homes with a few shops and eateries located along Wisconsin Avenue. Residents have the option of going to nearby Friendship Heights to the North for more varied and upscale dining options.
A majority of the homes are center hall Colonials with meticulously manicured lawns although many are situated on small lots and located in close proximity to one another. Residents see this as a plus, contributing to a safe, close-knit community feel. They also congregate at popular Turtle Park to walk the dog or enjoy open green spaces with their kids. The top-ranked schools are another strong draw for what may be one of the more highly-educated neighborhood populations. AU is home to a number of the District’s journalists, pundits, attorneys, and university professors. As such, they take an active role in seeing that the schools prosper and continue to be have the latest infrastructure and curriculums. All three AU Park schools -- Janney Elementary, Deal Middle, and Wilson High -- have recently undergone major renovations.
Because the area accommodates cars, AU Park residents can commute easily in and out of the District or outlying suburbs. Friendship Heights and the Tenleytown-AU Metro, both red line stations, are the closet Metro stops and provide additional commuting ease. Not surprisingly, homes in the market move quickly once listed and continue to appreciate in value.
While those new to the city may question the appeal of AU Park vs. Friendship Heights or nearby Spring Valley Park, residents luxuriate in what they view as the perfect combination of suburban serenity with an urban address.