Below is an insert from the Shaw Neighborhood Investment Fund Document prepared by the Office of the Deputy Mayor Planning and Economic Development.
As our community changes and evolves with the times and preserves its history, we will work with the office of planning on defining the official name of our neighborhood.
The Shaw Neighborhood Investment Fund (NIF)
area is located primarily within Wards 2, 5, and 6,
with a small part within the boundaries of Ward 1.
The Shaw NIF area is only 8 sq miles, but it is very
densely populated with about 18,000 residents. The
NIF area includes the Shaw, Mount Vernon Triangle,
and Truxton Circle communities, and is bounded by
Florida Avenue to the north, Massachusetts Ave to the
south, 9th Street to the west and North Capitol Street to
This neighborhood was originally a collection of
camps for freed slaves in the rural outskirts of the
original city of Washington during the Civil War. It
was named after Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the
commander of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer
Infantry, the first all-Black military company in the
Union army. Prior to the Civil War, the area was very
rural, with most of the land covered with woods and
a few scattered apple orchards. During that period,
the 7th Street commercial corridor was known as
Rockville Turnpike, which served as the main route
for Maryland farmers bringing their goods to the city’s