Located in Northwest Washington, D.C., Kent remains almost entirely residential with its commercial development tethered to MacArthur Boulevard. The Chain Bridge Road/University Terrace Preservation Committee, formed in the late 1990s, has successfully curtailed the felling of old trees and restricts the amount of paving that can be done in the neighborhood. The area’s atmosphere is preserved by its architectural variety and arching tree canopy, making this neighborhood decidedly desirable.
Kent, D.C., with its origins along the eastern border of Chain Bridge road, is a roughly triangular-shaped neighborhood once considered part of the Palisades. Development was lethargic until the Civil War, at which time settlements began in earnest as escaped or freed slaves built new communities near to the Civil War Defenses of Battery Kemble. Remnants of the early community include an old schoolhouse and a small cemetery established in 1868.
In the 1930s and 40s, the undulating western region matured into suburbs using Colonial housing styles. The interwoven streets and eclectic layout of buildings echo the hilly geography of the eastern section. Unlike the western section, the eastern portion remains distinctly rural in feel. Because of this, Kent can appear to be two distinct neighborhoods.