Blagden Alley is an historic district defined by middle-class residences, churches and small apartment buildings that display a rich variety of Victorian architectural styles dating from the 1860s to the 1890s. In the interior of many blocks are alley dwellings, such as; working class residences, stables, and commercial buildings that are hidden behind the facing the streets. The area illustrates how different classes, races, and services were physically organized in the 19th-century city of
The names Blagden Alley and
The elegant townhouse, the Blanche K. Bruce House (
After the Civil War, many African Americans migrated to
The Blagden Alley neighborhood continued to serve as a closely-knit racially mixed middle and working class neighborhood into the 20th century. However, the widening of 9th Street with its subsequent loss of street trees and yards, the flight of the middle class to the suburbs, the increase of absentee landlords, and the 1968 riots led to deterioration of the area.
Today, renovating and restoring homes is widespread and the area has an active community group, the Blagden Alley Neighborhood Association, interested in fighting crime. New residents have been attracted to the area by the charm of the buildings and the proximity to downtown.
From: Jack Evans Website - http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/EVANS/blagdenalley.html