Living in the Midst of History in D.C.’s Fort Totten

Living in the Midst of History in D.C.’s Fort Totten

Living in the Midst of History in D.C.’s Fort Totten

Fort Totten got its name from a fort that was built during the Civil War as part of the Northern Defenses. The fort itself is mostly in ruins but is located at a high point overlooking the Soldiers’ Home or Military Asylum, and President Lincoln’s summer home. It is located in Washington close to Silver Spring, Maryland and several miles from the U.S. Capitol.

Where is Fort Totten?

Fort Totten is a neighborhood located in Ward 5 of Northeast Washington, D.C. It is situated between Riggs Road and Bates Rd and North Capitol Street NW.

The neighborhood is very close to the Catholic University of America, Providence Hospital, Rock Creek Cemetery and Soldiers Home Cemetery.


The Fort Totten neighborhood got its name from an actual Civil War-era fort built by General Joseph Gilbert Totten.

The fort has 20 guns and mortars, as well as a large 100-pounder Parrott rifle for long-range firing. It’s a great place to visit in order to learn a bit of history.


What to Do

Cycling and hiking are popular among residents. Fort Totten Park and the Washington Metropolitan Branch Trail run from the Silver Spring Metro Station to Washington Union Station in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

You can walk around the remains of the Civil War fort which gave the neighborhood its name, but the area is not very well-maintained. Also go for a visit to President Lincoln’s Cottage, which is nearby to experience history.

If you are not in the mood for exercise, take the metro downtown and check out a museum such as the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum or an art gallery like the National Gallery of Art, also part of the Smithsonian, on the Mall. Go ahead and also try the Phillips Collection which is located near the Dupont Circle Metro.

Where to Eat and Drink

Dog Haus Biergarten in Silver Spring has a great beer garden. Full Yum’s Sub Shop offers fast-food options but has awesome Chinese food.

Slash Run on Upshur Street in North-West Washington D.C. is great for sandwiches and beer. They have tasty breakfasts and brunch, as well. Near Slash Run, is The Hitching Post which is famous for its southern cuisine and soul food.

Library Tavern offers Persian food while Masala Story in Brookland has a great variety of Indian food and there’s also outdoor dining if the weather is nice.

Moving to Fort Totten

Real Estate Snapshot

Most of the homes in the area were built in the 1900s and are more utilitarian and non-descript compared to homes in other parts of the city. There are a few mid- to high-rise apartment buildings built over the past few decades with apartments for rent in Fort Totten averaging at $1,700.


The Green Line of the metro goes through the Fort Totten neighborhood. The Georgia Avenue-Petworth metro station is nearby as well, but there are also many metro buses serving the area.

Schools & Employment

Christian Family Montessori School, which is nearby, is highly rated, as well as Newlen Early Childhood School Readiness Center. There are several great charter schools nearby such as Briya Public Charter School, Root Public Charter School and D.C. Bilingual Public Charter School. Sticks and Bars Youth Marimba Ensemble is an excellent music school in the neighborhood.

The local residents find employment in the city in government and non-profit jobs as well as many businesses and organizations in suburban Maryland.

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Published at Fri, 26 Mar 2021 14:10:09 +0000