Shaw is simultaneously one of Washington, D.C.’s oldest yet most hip and lively neighborhoods.

Welcome to Shaw/Cardozo

Hip and artistic neighborhoods bustling with young energy
Shaw is simultaneously one of Washington, D.C.’s oldest yet most hip and lively neighborhoods. The neighborhood was founded from freed slave encampments. With that origin, in addition to the chartering of Howard University, Shaw has acted as an epicenter for African-American culture, art, and thought since the early 1900s and was the site of numerous movements to achieve equality in humankind, including protests, marches, and speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr. That history has remained at the center of the community, as it has worked hard to grow into the bustling city full of life, celebration, and promise it is today. It is also home to the African-American Civil War Memorial.
The Victorian-Era roots show throughout the neighborhoods as the largely-residential district has maintained many of its original housing styles. As the area continues to grow and develop, the housing options continue to broaden. You can find a good mix of modern condominiums, lofts, and multi-unit rows. The streets that once saw some of the most renowned protests, where some of the most notable names in human rights activism walked, have become some of D.C.’s favorite places to call home.

What to Love

  • Close, walkable structure
  • Access to Green Line Metro
  • Proximity to downtown
  • Young and trendy lifestyle
  • Historic roots

Local Lifestyle

Shaw was one of the many neighborhoods left to rebuild following the 1968 riots that left many of its streets burned down and without access to electricity. After struggling for years to rebuild through grassroots efforts, Shaw finally gained some traction with their redevelopment efforts and has been on an upward trend ever since. As the government and city invested in rebuilding Shaw, the quality of life the neighborhood could offer also improved. Now, it is one of the area’s hotspots with trendy shops and notable eats. The local community strives to maintain some of its historical structure through continued development and offers a well-blended lifestyle.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

With the redevelopment efforts came an influx of entertainment options. The Dabney is a unique dining experience that gives you a peek behind the stove as you enjoy the tastes of locally sourced ingredients.
Convivial is in the heart of Shaw. It is an award-winning French Bistro with authentic cuisine created by a genuine French chef. Kinship is another local gem with a traditional American menu that has created a following. American Ice Co. is a no-frills bar whose primary focus is serving you all the best bar basics.
Shaw's amenities are just as impressive and extensive as its dining options. CityCenterDC is a shopping mecca with everything from business buildings to designer storefronts like Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.
Even the seamstress options in Shaw are boutique. Read Wall is not just any neighborhood tailor. The rejuvenation of Shaw gave the city a second wind, and now it offers some of the top-tier amenities in the D.C. metroplex. A lot of this has been aided by Shaw Main Street, a program created to help support businesses and revitalize the local economy.

Things to Do

What isn’t there to do in Shaw? From historical landmarks like the Howard Theatre to bustling nightclubs like 9:30 Club and Flash, Shaw has it all. They even bring the two together for their annual Art All Night event in the Fall.
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is in Shaw and hosts a massive list of events throughout the year. Between its history and rejuvenated future, Shaw is sure to make an excellent home for just about anyone.


Shaw is served by the District of Columbia Public School District. Notable schools include:

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