Chevy Chase is a neighborhood in northwest Washington, D.C. It borders Chevy Chase, Maryland, a collection of similarly affluent neighborhoods.
In the late 1880s, Senator Francis G. Newlands of Nevada and his partners began the aggressive acquisition of farmland in northwest Washington, D.C. and southern Montgomery County, Maryland, for the purpose of developing a residential streetcar suburb. They founded the Chevy Chase Land Company in 1890, and its eventual holdings are now known as this neighborhood and Chevy Chase, Maryland. Chevy Chase D.C. was developed beginning in the early 1900s after construction was completed on the Chevy Chase Line, a streetcar line stretching to and beyond the northwestern boundary of the District of Columbia, thereby linking the area to downtown.
Over the next few decades, the formerly remote area was transformed from farmland and woods to middle-class housing. The housing stock in Chevy Chase D.C. includes many “Sears Catalog Homes”, a popular housing option in the early twentieth century that allowed individuals of modest means to order by mail the materials and instructions for a home and build it themselves.
The neighborhood’s major commercial road is Connecticut Avenue NW, which, in addition to commercial establishments, is home to apartments, a community center, and a regional branch of the D.C. Public Library. Generally, in contrast to many other areas that have lost their retail to commercial chains, locally owned businesses along Connecticut Avenue remain strong, and are well supported by the local population. These businesses include Magruder’s Supermarket, established in 1875, and the Avalon Theatre, which opened in 1923 as a silent film house and ran until the theater underwent renovations in 2003. The Avalon thereafter reopened as a non-profit movie theater. In addition to historical commercial buildings the area has multiple parks including Rock Creek Park, Lafayette Park and Livingston Park.