Kalorama, once a rural retreat until the late 19th century, has now transformed into a charming residential enclave in Northwest Washington. This historically rich neighborhood lies to the northwest of the original limits of Washington City as envisioned by Pierre Charles L’Enfant. Its name derives from the magnificent Kalorama mansion, a symbol of its storied past.
The heart of Kalorama is the Kalorama Triangle, bordered by three prominent thoroughfares: Connecticut Avenue, Calvert Street, and Columbia Road. The area’s lush surroundings, with Rock Creek Park to the north and west, Massachusetts Avenue N.W. to the south and west, and Florida Avenue and Connecticut Avenue N.W. to the south and east, make it a scenic and tranquil haven. A statue of the revered American Civil War general, Philip Sheridan, stands proudly in this charming neighborhood, further adding to its historical significance. Over the years, Kalorama Triangle has developed into an architectural marvel, boasting an array of exquisite free-standing and attached houses, as well as elegant apartment buildings. The neighborhood’s streets, lined with captivating trees, wind gracefully through the landscape, creating a picturesque setting. Its growth from 1897 to 1931 has resulted in a blend of modest and grand residences, each contributing to the area’s distinctive character. Amid the hustle and bustle of the surrounding commercial zones, Kalorama Triangle remains a peaceful and residential oasis. Its ideal location, flanked by three major thoroughfares, ensures both convenience and seclusion for its fortunate residents. The charming ambience and residential charm further enhance the allure of this neighborhood.
“The vicissitudes of time have wrought many changes on this old home [Kalorama],and now we hear it is for sale. I suppose some fine morning we shall look for Kalorama and find it not. Civilization makes rapid strides. In place of undulating hills and dales, graceful forest shade and winding drives, we shall find the woodman’s axe has felled the trees, the pick and shovel have levelled the hills, the shaded driveway that calls to memory the names of heroes and men famous in our country’s history who have passed near those historic trees, will have to give way to broad avenues and architectural monstrosities which are an abomination to the sight and the sense; and this is…civilization.”Mary Lockwood, Historic Homes in Washington, Its Noted Men and Women (1889)
Another gem within Kalorama is Sheridan-Kalorama, also known as Kalorama Heights. In the 19th century, this area boasted an idyllic landscape, but the early 20th century marked a significant transformation as Washington’s population sought the suburban dream, propelling rapid development. Today, Sheridan-Kalorama stands as a testament to urban planning with its cohesive and sophisticated town-and-suburb-like streetscapes. Nestled in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., Sheridan-Kalorama retains its elegant and urbane aura. The neighborhood’s boundaries are defined by Connecticut Avenue on the east, Rock Creek Park on the north and west, and Florida Avenue on the south. Its collection of thoughtfully designed houses and apartment buildings exudes luxury and style. In addition to its residential charm, Sheridan-Kalorama is graced by the presence of numerous embassies, chanceries, churches, and esteemed private schools, adding to its prestige.
A notable piece of history enriches the essence of Kalorama. After completing his presidential term, Barack Obama, along with his wife Michelle Obama and their two daughters, made Kalorama their home—a testament to the allure and desirability of this captivating neighborhood.
Things to Do in Kalorama
From picnicking in the three-acre grounds of Kalorama Park to walking up the photogenic Spanish Steps, there is plenty to keep you entertained in Kalorama. It’s here you can take a guided tour around the President Woodrow Wilson House, sip on a fresh brew and people-watch at one of the local coffee shops or simply marvel at the historic buildings in the Kalorama Triangle. Kalorama is less than three miles away from the White House and is home to 28 embassies, which is partly why there is such a diverse community of residents. The neighborhood, which borders DuPont Circle, also prides itself in having safe, pedestrian-friendly streets and several nurseries. Kalorama Park provides a nice spot to enjoy an afternoon in a comfortable community setting or to take a four-legged friend for a walk. Public transportation links are also plentiful for frequent travelers, while a number of well-connected roads make it easy to travel to both the National Airport and Dulles Airport. When residents seek nightlife or a larger selection of restaurants and bars, it’s only a short trip to head to the lively Adams Morgan neighborhood
Real Estate in Kalorama
Kalorama’s allure lies not only in its beautiful architecture but also in its central location and top-notch amenities. As a result, homes for sale in Kalorama are priced higher than the national average sale price, and they tend to fly off the market quickly due to their desirability. The Kalorama real estate landscape boasts a captivating mix of grand Colonial and Georgian Revival townhouses, alongside modern new-builds that add a contemporary touch to the neighborhood. Delightful Spanish-inspired features grace some buildings, lending a touch of Mediterranean charm to certain corners of this enchanting area. From spacious apartments to large detached houses, the diversity of properties available for purchase or rent caters to a wide range of preferences. For those considering a move to the Kalorama neighborhood, rest assured that behind the glitz and grandeur lies a warm and welcoming community eager to embrace newcomers with open arms.
The housing market in the Kalorama region has a vast spread in 2023, ranging from a low price of $170,000 for a “fixer-upper” studio condo to $5,795,000 for a 7-bedroom mansion, with most of the 96 homes selling in under 40 days.