Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

000-8823 Penrose Historic District

Penrose Historic District
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/03/2003

NRHP Listing Date 11/15/2004

NRHP Reference Number 04000112

Located about three miles from Washington, D.C., Penrose Historic District is a planned community in Arlington County associated with the historic, economic, and cultural contributions of African American families. During and after the Civil War, free blacks and former slaves lived in the government-established Freedman’s Village, but as residents became assimilated into the work force, many families relocated to nearby communities that began to cater to African Americans. Planned development in the area that became Penrose began in 1882 when former Village residents William Butler and Henry Louis Holmes established the Butler-Holmes Subdivision. The neighborhood also attracted middle- and working-class populations with the arrival of streetcar lines that allowed easy access to Washington, D.C. Today, Penrose is a firmly established multicultural and multiethnic neighborhood with domestic architecture representing vernacular forms and Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman styles.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: January 12, 2021