Never Built Hamilton Circle at Massachusetts and Idaho

Hamilton Circle and Fairview Heights in 1903

Wait, Hamilton Circle? Do you know where that is? Probably not, because it was never completed.

The neighborhood surrounding the circle was once dubbed Fairview Heights, which no longer seems to appear on any contemporary maps.

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Hamilton Circle and Fairview Heights in 1903
Hamilton Circle and Fairview Heights in 1903

Here’s the full map from 1903 showing the proposed Hamilton Circle at Massachusetts and Idaho. Today, it’s a six-way intersection of the two state streets and 39th St. NW.

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1903 map of Northwest D.C.
1903 map of Northwest D.C.

It’s not the only ghost circle in D.C. today. We wrote about another interesting circle that would have been at 16th and U St. NW, called Hancock Circle.

Below is what the intersection looks like today.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • Publius Washingtoniensis

    The Catholic Church of the Annunciation now occupies the southeast corner of “Hamilton Circle.” Its property comprises the entire block bounded by Massachusetts Ave,. Klingle St., and 39th St., N.W. With respect to the projected Hamilton Circle, it’s interesting to note that the original plans for the parish complex, designed by National Cathedral architect Philip Frohman, called for a large Gothic Revival church at the northwest corner, facing what would have been the Circle. Due to structural deficiencies and high costs, the “big” church was never built, and the site is now occupied by the Annunciation parking lot.

  • Sally C

    I live in the area of this non-circle. One thing I wonder when I look at these old atlas pages is whether the people subdividing the land ever actually looked at it. You’d think it was all flat from the way they drew the lines, completely ignoring natural features like the gorge where Glover-Archebalt Park is now.

  • JCF

    Perhaps in light of the success of a Certain Broadway Show, there might be calls for Hamilton Circle’s revival (here, or somewhere else).