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Shaw / Howard University Metro Stop - Green & Yellow Lines - 1701 8th St., NW Washington, DC
Shaw howard university.jpg

Shaw / Howard University is a Washington Metro station in Washington, D.C., on the Green Line. It is also served by the Yellow Line during off-peak times.  Shaw – Howard University station is located within the neighborhood of the same name in the Northwest quadrant of the city, specifically on 7th Street between R and S Streets. It lies just outside the defined boundaries of the Shaw Historic District, which encompasses much the area to the southwest.  While other stations along the stretch of the Green and Yellow Lines between Gallery Place and Fort Totten have been successful in revitalizing formerly run-down neighborhoods and accelerating the pace of growth and building, Shaw has been stagnant in comparison to other stations such as U Street or Columbia Heights.  Two main projects are expected to catalyze development in the area, mainly Progression Place and CityMarket at O. The former, which will occupy the vacant land on the same block as the northern entrance, is expected to contain 115,000 sq ft (10,700 m2) of office space (with the UNCF being the anchor tenant), 205 apartments labelled as "7th Flats," and 19,000 sq ft (1,800 m2) of retail.  CityMarket at O, located at the intersection of 7th and O Streets, is planned to renovate the long-neglected O Street Market and add 87,000 sq ft (8,100 m2) of retail and 629 residential units.

Shaw – Howard University
Shaw howard university.jpg
Station statistics
Address1701 8th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
  Green Line
  Yellow Line off-peak hours
ConnectionsWMATA Metrobus
Platforms1 island platform
Bicycle facilities6 racks
Other information
OpenedMay 11, 1991
AccessibleHandicapped/disabled access
Owned byWMATA
Passengers (2010)1.606 million
Preceding station Washington Metro Following station
Mount Vernon Square
toward Branch Avenue
Green Line
U Street
toward Greenbelt
Mount Vernon Square
toward Huntington
Yellow Line
U Street
toward Fort Totten



Part of the original Metro plan, the station was initially referred to simply as "Shaw." It opened on May 11, 1991, as part of a northward extension of the Green Line from Gallery Place – Chinatown to U Street.

Station layout

Like most underground Metro stations, Shaw – Howard University station lies directly below street level, in this case underneath 7th Street. There are two entrances, one to the north at the corner of 7th and S Streets and the other to the south on R Street between 7th and 8th Street.Shaw is a neighborhood located in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C.


Shaw is roughly bounded by M Street, NW or Massachusetts Avenue NW to the south; New Jersey Avenue, NW to the east; Florida Avenue, NW to the north; and 11th Street, NW to the west. The area also includes the U Street Corridor, which is the commercial hub of the Shaw area, extending westward to 16th Street NW.

Florida Avenue marks the northern boundary with the adjacent neighborhoods of Columbia Heights and LeDroit Park. The area consists of gridded streets lined with small Victorian rowhouses. It is dominated by Howard University and the shops and theatres along U Street and centered along 7th Street NW, the original commercial hub of the area prior to redevelopment in the wake of the 1968 riots and Green Line Metrorail construction.

Shaw is sometimes considered to include Logan Circle, Truxton Circle, and other neighborhoods east of 16th Street and north of Downtown Washington, D.C., but in recent years those neighborhoods have become seen as separate entities.


The Phillis Wheatley YWCA, built in 1920, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shaw grew out of freed slave encampments in the rural outskirts of Washington City. Originally called "Uptown", in an era when the city's boundary ended at "Boundary Street" (now Florida Avenue), in the Urban Renewal Era the neighborhood began to be referred to as Shaw because of the neighborhood Junior High School named after Civil War Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the commander of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

The neighborhood thrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a special intellectual and cultural life. Howard Theological Seminary received its first matriculates in 1866; by 1925, and Langston Hughes was descending from LeDroit Park to hear the "sad songs" of 7th Street. The most famous Shaw native to emerge from this period was Duke Ellington.

Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968, riots erupted in many D.C. neighborhoods, including Shaw, Columbia Heights, and the H Street, NE corridor. The 1968 Washington, D.C. riots marked the beginning of a decline in population and development that would condemn much of the inner city to a generation of economic decay.

Shaw is a mostly residential neighborhood of 19th century Victorian row houses. The architecture of these houses, Shaw's central location, and the stability of D.C.'s housing market have transformed the neighborhood through gentrification. Shaw's notable place in African American history has made the recent influx of affluent professionals particularly controversial.

 Infrastructure and landmarks

 Public transportation

Dunbar Theatre, also known as the Southern Aid Society Building, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shaw is served by the Mt. Vernon Square Metro, Shaw – Howard University and U Street Green Line Metro stations.

Cultural institutions

Among Shaw's many landmarks are Ben's Chili Bowl, the Lincoln Theatre, Shiloh Baptist Church, the Twelfth Street YMCA Building, and the north portion of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.


Historical populations

Shaw has grown dramatically since the mid-to-late 20th century, with a 2010 population of 17,639.

—  Neighborhood of Washington, D.C.  —
Shaw within the District of Columbia
CountryUnited States
DistrictWashington, D.C.
WardWards 1 and 2
 • CouncilmemberJim Graham (Ward 1)
Jack Evans (Ward 2)
 • Total.73 sq mi (2 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total17,639
 • Density24,163.0/sq mi (9,329.4/km2)