As site of one of the earliest settlements in the area started in 1763 by German settler, Jacob Funk, Foggy Bottom began as 130 acres near the meeting of Rock Creek and the Potomac River. Officially named Hamburgh, the settlement carried the nickname, “Funkstown.” Few settlers were attracted Funkstown until further industry entered the area in the 1850s.
Likely named for the smog given off by its original industries including glass plants, city gas works and breweries as well as formation of fog over the riverside location, Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. Home to many federal government offices including the State Department, numerous international and American organizations, and the main campus of George Washington University, Foggy Bottom is humming with activity and culture.
The Foggy Bottom Historic District is mainly constituted of private residences and tall rowhouses. Built largely after 1885, the long streets of complementary rowhouses reflect local purpose-based building history in the district. Echoing the stages of neighborhood development, the district’s buildings date from the late 1870s to the very early 1900s.