Federal Triangle Station.jpg
YOU ARE HERE > HOME > Orange Line DC > Foggy Bottom

(Foggy Bottom Metro Stop - Blue & Orange Lines - 2301 I St., NW, Washington, DC 20037)

Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest late 18th and 19th-century neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. The area is thought to have received the name because its riverside location made it susceptible to concentrations of fog and industrial smoke, an atmospheric trait that did not prevent the neighborhood from becoming the original location of the United States Naval Observatory. Foggy Bottom is west of downtown Washington, in the Northwest quadrant, bounded roughly by 17th Street to the east, Rock Creek Parkway to the west, Constitution Avenue to the south, and Pennsylvania Avenue to the north. Much of Foggy Bottom is occupied by the main campus of the George Washington University.
Features
The name Foggy Bottom often is used as a metonym for the United States Department of State because its headquarters is in the neighborhood, as are the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Friendship Lodge Odd Fellows Hall; and the infamous Watergate complex, site of the Watergate burglaries which led to President Richard Nixon's resignation. GWU has grown significantly over the past decades and now covers much of the neighborhood, which has many historic old homes and numerous mid-rise apartment buildings.
The southern edge of Foggy Bottom is home to many federal government offices, including the State Department. The Main Interior Building (headquarters of the Department of the Interior), the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters, and the Federal Reserve Board buildings all lie on or around Virginia Avenue. To the east lies the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, home to the Executive Office of the President of the United States and the Office of the Vice President of the United States. On the other side of the office is the White House, which is not in the neighborhood.
Foggy Bottom is also home to numerous international and American organizations. The World Bank buildings, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the Office of Personnel Management, DAR Constitution Hall of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Red Cross National Headquarters, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Organization of American States are all located in the neighborhood. In addition, the Mexican and Spanish Embassies are located in Foggy Bottom, both on Pennsylvania Avenue.


Culture
Just south of the Watergate Complex on the Potomac River lies the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts The Kennedy home of the National Symphony Orchestra and numerous other theatrical and musical exhibitions. At the eastern edge of the neighborhood is the Corcoran Gallery of Art, whose permanent collection contains works from Rembrandt, Eugène Delacroix, Edgar Degas, Thomas Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Gene Davis, among others. On Virginia Avenue is the Simon Bolivar Memorial. George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium and Smith Center are frequently home to major concerts, as does DAR Constitution Hall.

History

Foggy Bottom was once a community of Irish, German, and Black laborers employed at the nearby breweries, glass plants, and city gas works. These industrial facilities are also cited as a possible reason for the neighborhood's name, the "fog" being the smoke given off by the industries. The historic neighborhood is preserved and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Foggy Bottom area was the site of one of the earliest settlements in what is now the District of Columbia, when German settler Jacob Funck subdivided 130 acres (0.53 km2) near the meeting place of the Potomac River and Rock Creek in 1763. The settlement officially was named Hamburgh, but colloquially was called Funkstown, and attracted few settlers until the 1850s, when more industrial enterprises came into the area. Funck also set aside land in Hamburgh for a German-speaking congregation in 1768. Concordia German Evangelical Church, located at 1920 G Street NW was finally founded in 1833. Today the congregation is The United Church, and is the oldest religious community remaining in Foggy Bottom.
Foggy Bottom was also the name of a line of beer by the Olde Heurich Brewing Company, which was founded near Dupont Circle in 1873 by German immigrant Christian Heurich. In addition to its main brand, Heurich, Olde Heurich's most successful products bore such local names as Senate and Old Georgetown. During the 1950s, Heurich Brewing also sponsored the city's professional baseball team, the Washington Senators. Industry consolidation led the brewery to cease operations in 1956. In 1961–1962, the brewery buildings were razed to make way for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Heurich, Jr., and his two sisters donated a portion of the brewery land to the Kennedy Center in memory of their parents, and established the Christian Heurich Family as one of the Founders of the national cultural center. Although the firm was founded in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, the modern beer was brewed in Utica, New York.
Map of Washington, D.C., with Foggy Bottom highlighted in maroon.
Location:Bounded by 17th St., Rock Creek Parkway, Constitution Ave., Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington Circle lies at the convergence of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire Avenues, K and 23rd Streets
Aerial view of Foggy Bottom. The 
Watergate Complex is in the foreground.