Previously named Midcity, Shaw is a central neighborhood in the capital city of the United States – with a long and interesting history.
Historically, this part of the city has been a notable site of many protests led by famous African American activists including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
Today, along with being one of DC’s oldest neighborhoods, Shaw is the local cultural and economic center of the African-American community in the city.
African-American Civil War Memorial Museum
The most famous place on U Street and in the neighborhood of Shaw, the African-American Civil War Museum is the first memorial dedicated to the black community of America. Located right across the memorial, at street 1925 Vermont, the museum opened in 1999.
The memorial and the museum were built as a tribute to the United States Colored Troops (USCT), to honor the memory of over 200,000 African Americans soldiers who fought in the American Civil War.
Entrance to the museum is free for all; you can visit from 10 am to 6.30 pm, and take a look at original photographs, artifacts, and documents from the Civil War.
Historic Howard Theatre
Built in 1910, the Howard theatre is a prominent landmark of Washington DC, and was known as the world’s largest “colored theatre.”
It has been known to provide a platform to emerging African American musicians and performers, before Apollo. For decades, it was more than just a theatre – it was an institute for the people of Shaw, especially its black community.
The theatre has provided many struggling artists their first breakthroughs, including popular names like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, and The Supremes.
The theatre was neglected and closed down in 1980, only to be refurbished and reopened in 2012. After a $29 million renovation, the interior and exterior architecture of the building features Beaux-Arts, Italian Renaissance, and neoclassical designs.
Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema
This boutique movie theater is the latest addition to Landmark Theatres, and a go-to place for locals.
Opened in 2015, The Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema is a small, stylish, and sophisticated place to hang out.
The movie cinema features both regular movies, and artsy Oscar movies, which is why people of all ages love going there. It has a cozy ambiance with large cushy seats, so you can experience ultimate comfort while watching your favorite movie.
Tickets can also be easily booked online. The cinema also has a small on-site bar that serves wine and cocktails to moviegoers. Snacks are also available for you to take to the movie room.
Shaw is one of Washington DC’s hippest areas. It has a diverse range of bars, shopping malls, and restaurants for locals to enjoy.
Due to its historical and cultural significance, it is also a prominent neighborhood for tourists from all over the world!
Overall, Shaw is a trendy and popular neighborhood, known for its African-American roots, modern theaters, musical events, and jazz culture.