The Eckington neighborhood, located in the NE part of historic Washington, D.C was originally the country home and estate of Joseph Gales, Jr., owner of the National Intelligence newspaper and Mayor of Washington (1827 to 1830). Post Civil War reconstruction, Eckington was known as Gales Wood; a favored picnic grounds and natural recreation area.
In 1887, Eckington was purchased and subdivided into square blocks, based on L’Enfant’s plans, with improvements made via large-scale grading operations, waste and water mains, paved streets and a steam pump. Over $500,000 was spent in three years to improve the subdivision, including providing electricity to several houses. It would be a full two years before the White House itself had the same amenities.
Occupied by rowhouses and apartment buildings, Eckington is strikingly similar to it’s neighbor, Bloomingdale, in construction and layout. Dividing the two communities, which had long been streetcar communities, North Capitol Street’s dug-in trench is noisy and challenging to cross, allowing Eckington to preserve its perceived isolation. Containing both industrial property and residential, Eckington remains reasonably affordable with much of the same architectural and atmospheric culture so desirable in Washington, D.C.