Valley Place SE stretches only two blocks in Anacostia, but the street maintains 5 houses (4 of which are occupied) that date back to Frederick Douglass’ early morning walks through the neighborhood.

Valley Place SE in the late 1880s. Photo from the Historical Society of Washington.

According to diligent researcher and mapmaker Brian Kraft, the five houses in the above photo were built in 1885 by Henry A. Griswold, a prominent developer and President of the Anacostia & Potomac Railroad Company.

Valley Place SE today. Photo by the author.

This small, one-way street, despite being in the heart of Historic Anacostia, retains its bucolic charm. And just as they have for the last half-century, the resilient residents of Valley Place patiently wait for the neighborhood’s renaissance to arrive.