Foggy Bottom: Get to Know Our Neighborhood

The Foggy Bottom neighborhood is nestled between Lafayette Square and Georgetown, south of Washington Circle and is home to the U.S. State Department, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, George Washington University, the World Health Organization, and many other prominent international institutions.

George Washington Statue

Statue of the first President in Washington Circle.

This is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, tracing its origins back before the District of Columbia was established as the nation’s capital. Foggy Bottom was once an industrial area comprising Irish, German, and African American communities employed at the nearby breweries, glass plant,s and city gas works.

The construction of Potomac Plaza was completed in 1956. It was part of what was conceived as an enormous complex called Potomac Plaza Center, modeled after Rockefeller Center in New York. Though the full vision of the project was never realized, our distinguished building became the anchor for the redevelopment of Foggy Bottom. In fact, it was one of the key D.C. residences featured in James M. Goode’s Best Addresses, A Century of Washington’s Distinguished Apartment Houses.

Foggy Bottom is a vibrant, dynamic neighborhood that has been undergoing another renaissance in the 21st century. Throughout time, Potomac Plaza will continue to shine as one of the best addresses in an exciting and historic neighborhood.

Foggy Bottom Facts:

  • In the 18th century, much of the area now identified as Foggy Bottom was owned by Jacob Funk. He intended to develop the area into a town called Hamburgh, but the development of the capital city took priority.
  • The equestrian statue in Washington Circle was dedicated by President James Buchanan on February 22, 1860. Sculptor Clark Mills cast this, and other bronze statues, in a temporary foundry located south of the White House on what is currently known as the Ellipse.
  • During the Civil War, Camp Fry was located south of Washington Circle. The 9th & 10th Veteran Reserve Corps were stationed at Camp Fry and were charged with protecting Federal buildings.