Columbia City Landmark District

Columbia City Landmark District

The area that became Columbia City, Washington, was still heavily timbered when an electric railway south from downtown Seattle into the Rainier Valley began.The railway did two things, it opened the valley to development, and opened new sources of lumber, which was in great demand after The Great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889, that had destroyed most of Seattle’s business district.The town site was dense forest bordered by swampy marshland. Seven miles of track was laid from downtown Seattle to the town site.The first business in Columbia City was a lumber mill built on the northwest corner of what is now Rainier and S. The mill processed newly felled logs that were five to six feet in diameter.The promoters of the town named it in honor of Christopher Columbus. Ferdinand Street in April 1891, shortly after the inauguration of regular railway service.By 1892, the town had 40 to 50 residences, a town hall, a school with 75 students, a post office, two churches, a gravity-fed water system, a park, various stores, and rail service to Seattle every half hour.Columbia was incorporated as a town in January 1893, after 66 citizens filed the necessary petition with the King County Board of County Commissioners. The new Town Council promptly changed the name from “Columbia” to “Columbia City.”Fancy schemes continued, including one to turn the landlocked town into a seaport. The plan, started in 1895 by former Territorial Governor Eugene Semple, meant cutting a canal through Beacon Hill to Lake Washington.Running north and then east of the town was a deep ravine that became a marshy swamp. Ironically, the completion of the Lake Washington Ship Canal in 1917, lowered the level of the lake by nine feet, drying up the slough and pulling the plug on Columbia City’s maritime future.Despite this setback, the town continued to grow. Businesses moved in to meet the needs of the workers.By 1900, Columbia City was a full-service community, as well as “downtown” for the nearby settlements of Hillman, Brighton, and Rainier Beach. Both companies survived the Great Depression.World War II brought a new period of growth and change for Columbia City. Government contractors built temporary housing was for defense workers in the fields on the west side of town.Hitt Fireworks switched to military production, and at its peak in the 1940s, Hitt was employing 200 workers on “Hitt’s Hill,” at 37th Avenue S. between Brandon and Dawson streets.Columbia City has seen a number of economic cycles beginning with the Panic of 1893, which bankrupted the electric railway.Columbia City’s business community turned to its past in an effort to protect its future, winning status as a Landmark District, in 1978. City funds have been used to pave the sidewalks with brick and to plant trees along its streets.As a result of these and other efforts, Columbia City today has a renewed feeling of vitality, while retaining much of the look of a turn-of-the-century mill town. At the center is the “village green,” with a stately Andrew Carnegie library.Columbia City has become a destination neighborhood for many Seattleites because of its unique events, restaurants, and specialty stores. In addition, retail stores provide the area's new homeowners with home improvement and shopping opportunities. New businesses continue to move into the area, commercial space is under renovation.


The government of the District of Columbia held a competition for the design of a new district building in 1818. George Hadfield, who had supervised construction of the United States Capitol from October 1795 to May 1798, [4] [5] submitted a design for a new district building, but it was judged to be too costly. Hadfield eventually won the competition in 1820 with a revised version of his original plan, and construction began in August. The offices of the district government moved into the building in 1822. However, a lack of funds and other problems hindered construction and the building would not be completed in its entirety until 1849. [3] [6]

According to the NRHP nomination for the adjacent, compatibly-designed United States Court of Military Appeals Building (1910), the district building's south side plan is attributed to George Hadfield, but the north side plan is attributed to Robert Mills. [7]

To raise funds needed to finish the building, the district leased out space during construction to other federal government offices. Tenants included the U.S. Circuit Court and the Recorder of Deeds office, then headed by noted black leader and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, (1818–1895), who also later served as U.S. Marshal for the District. Following passage of the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, the Old City Hall was used to process payments to slaveholders. [8]

The federal government rented additional space in 1863 during the American Civil War and later purchased the building from the District government to house the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. [3] In 1868, a statue of 16th President Abraham Lincoln sculpted by Lot Flannery was erected on the south side of the building, which became the first public monument in his honor. [6] The offices of the District of Columbia government moved to the new District Building in 1908 and the Old City Hall was left to house the federal courts until they vacated the property in 1910. [6] [9]

In 1916, Congress approved funds for a complete building renovation. The building was stripped to its brick framing, and the stucco exterior was replaced with limestone blocks on a granite base. The building was rededicated as the U.S. Courthouse in 1922. The federal courts moved to the new E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in 1952 and the Old City Hall eventually became the headquarters of the U.S. Selective Service System. The building was named a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and was returned to the District government two years later for use by the local courts. [3] [6]

Many famous cases were tried at the Old City Hall while it was a U.S. courthouse. Former Tennessee Governor and then Cherokee representative Sam Houston, was tried and convicted for assaulting a member of Congress (Ohio Rep. William Stanbery) after he slandered Houston in a speech on the House of Representatives floor in 1832. Richard Lawrence, the failed assassin of 7th President Andrew Jackson, (the first assassination attempt against an American chief executive) was tried on the site in 1835 under District of Columbia prosecuting attorney Francis Scott Key, (1779–1843), and was sentenced to a mental institution. [9] [10] The Old City Hall was the scene of a fugitive slave trial known as the "Pearl incident," which was the largest single escape by slaves attempted in U.S. history. Two men were convicted in 1848 of attempting to free more than 70 slaves by sailing them from Washington, D.C. down the Potomac River then up the Chesapeake Bay. [9] The building was the site of the 1867 trial of John Surratt, an alleged conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln who was later acquitted. [6] [11] In 1882, Charles J. Guiteau, the assassin of President James A. Garfield, was convicted at the courthouse. [6] [9] [12]

In 1999, the building closed for an extensive renovation by the architecture firm of Beyer Blinder Belle. Steel framing replaced the old masonry while leaving the stone façade intact. A new glass atrium was constructed on the north side of the building facing Judiciary Square and is now the main entrance, as had been originally intended. The District of Columbia Courthouse was rededicated on June 17, 2009 as the home of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. [6] [9]

Map of Survey Area The City of Columbia Planning Division is excited to announce the completion of the Downtown Columbia Historic Resources Survey conducted by Access Preservation. This architectural survey focused on Columbia&rsquos historic downtown area and documented the buildings not previously recorded in past architectural surveys. This survey is part of the City of Columbia&rsquos ongoing effort to keep an up to date city-wide survey.

The &ldquoBryan Survey&rdquo in 1993 documented buildings in downtown Columbia considered to be historically significant at the time. Since the Bryan Survey is over 25 years old, many resources have since gained historic significance (reached their 50-year mark) while other resources may have been altered or demolished if local protections were never adopted. While this survey works to fully document and recommend protection of older, intact, historic resources that have survived a century of development pressures, it also provides a great and in-depth look at the largely undocumented mid-century resources that Columbia has to offer.

The final document, including survey findings and recommendations, is now available online! Please also watch the final virtual presentation of survey findings and recommendations, included below!

Types of Historic Districts

The most common historic overlays in Columbia come in two forms: a protection area or an architectural conservation district.

The stronger of the two historic preservation overlays is the architectural conservation district. These districts are intended to preserve the form of the neighborhood as well as the general character of its individual structures, including the preservation of historic materials. Generally, all exterior work, including changes to windows, siding, porch details or other architectural features, is reviewed. Any materials used on structures in architectural conservation districts are typically required to match the original, and modern materials that approximate historic appearance may be considered for use on new construction.

Meanwhile, a protection area is a different form of historic preservation overlay. Unlike the architectural conservation district, a protection area is intended to protect the general form and character of the district as much of its historic materials have been replaced over the years. For this reason, more emphasis is placed on the district as a whole rather than on individual structures. Generally, review of work in these districts largely is limited to additions, new construction, demolition, and certain site improvements such as fences and driveways. Additionally, modern materials that approximate historic appearance may be considered for review for individual design features.

If you have any questions about Columbia's historic districts, please contact the staff representative for your district.

About Historic Landmarks and Historic Districts

Historic landmarks and districts are granted official recognition and protection for their contribution to the cultural and aesthetic heritage of the nation's capital. Most historic properties are buildings or districts, but they may also be archaeological sites, engineering structures, sculpture, or landscape features. A property designated as historic for the purposes of DC law may also be recognized as historic by the Federal government. Historic properties may be included in one or all of the following three lists:

The DC Inventory of Historic Sites is a listing of properties designated by the Historic Preservation Review Board or its predecessor, the Joint Committee on Landmarks. First established in 1964, the Inventory now includes more than 500 historic landmarks and more than three dozen historic districts with approximately 23,600 buildings.

The National Register of Historic Places is the Federal government's list of historic landmarks and historic districts nationwide. The National Register was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and is maintained by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

National Historic Landmarks are properties designated by the Secretary of the Interior for their outstanding integrity and significance to the nation as a whole. They are selected by the National Park Service, and cannot be designated by other parties. National Historic Landmarks are automatically entered on the National Register.

The Historic Preservation Review Board (and its staff, the Historic Preservation Office) maintains the DC Inventory of Historic Sites. You may call the Historic Preservation Office to determine whether or not a building is located within a historic district, or is an individually designated historic landmark. The HPO also provides bound copies of the DC Inventory and a map of the city depicting the boundaries of each historic district.

Historic Landmarks and Historic Districts

Washington&rsquos historic landmarks and districts define the image of the nation's capital that is recognized around the world. This heritage also includes dozens of historic DC neighborhoods that create a sense of place for the residents of a vibrant and growing city.

DC Inventory of Historic Sites

The official list of historic landmarks and historic districts in the District of Columbia is known as the DC Inventory of Historic Sites. Most properties listed in the Inventory are landmark buildings or historic districts, but there are also archaeological sites, bridges and engineering structures, outdoor sculpture, parks, cemeteries, and other monuments and landscapes.

Maps and Brochures on DC Historic Districts

Maps are available on this website for all DC historic districts. For most districts, there are also illustrated informational brochures and links to more detailed documentation.


Columbia City station is located in the median of Martin Luther King Jr. Way between Alaska and Edmunds streets in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle's Rainier Valley. It is approximately six blocks west of the neighborhood's central business district and designated historic district, centered on Rainier Avenue. [2] [3]

The station is located downhill from Cheasty Boulevard South, a preserved Olmsted boulevard and city landmark running along the east edge of Beacon Hill [4] other parks in the area include Genesee Park to the east of the Columbia City business district, Columbia Park, the Rainier Playfield, and Hitt's Hill Park. [5] [6]

Transit-oriented development Edit

The area surrounding Columbia City station consists primarily of single-family detached homes with some multi-family units, including some low-income housing at the Seattle Housing Authority's Rainier Vista public housing development. [2] It is noted as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the Seattle metropolitan area, with 75 percent of its 5,667 residents identifying as part of a racial minority the neighborhood also has 1,502 jobs located within a half-mile (0.8 km) of the station. [7] Height limits in the area range from 40 feet (12 m) adjacent to the station to 65 feet (20 m) along Rainier Avenue. [8]

The construction of the light rail station has triggered interest in transit-oriented development by private developers in proximity to Columbia City station. [9] New market rate apartments, the first in four decades for the neighborhood, were opened by Harbor Urban in 2012. [10] The Zion Preparatory Academy sold its campus to developers in 2009 for $5 million [11] the 6-acre (2.4 ha) site was redeveloped into a six-building complex with 244 apartments by The Wolff Company in 2015. [9] [12]

Columbia City was established in 1891 as a streetcar suburb by J. K. Edmiston, the owner of the Rainier Avenue Electric Railway. Edmiston had built the line and a lumber mill on the site of old-growth forests to aid in the rebuilding of Downtown Seattle after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. The 40-acre (16 ha) site was later named "Columbia" and plotted for homes, and incorporated in 1893 as "Columbia City". The city was annexed by the city of Seattle in 1907 after Edmiston sold the railway and left the fledgling town, who felt their tax base was too small to support the area's growth. [13] The Rainier Avenue line would cease operations on January 1, 1937, in order to pave Rainier Avenue [14] [15] service was replaced by motor buses, after an unsuccessful attempt to extend the Seattle Municipal Street Railway to the area. [16]

A modern light rail system was proposed by a newly formed regional transit authority (RTA) in 1995, including a line running on Rainier Avenue between Downtown Seattle and Seattle–Tacoma International Airport that stopped in Columbia City. [17] After the $6.7 billion proposal was rejected by voters in March 1995, the RTA considered building a shorter elevated line on Rainier Avenue, including an option beginning at Columbia City and ending in the University District. [18] In November 1996, a condensed $3.9 billion regional transit plan was approved by voters, including a light rail line between Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport that ran through the Rainier Valley, with an elevated station on Rainier Avenue South at South Edmunds Street in Columbia City. [19] [20] [21]

Concerns from Rainier Valley residents over blocked intersections, property acquisition and equity led the RTA (later re-branded as Sound Transit) to study a $400 million tunnel through the Rainier Valley. [22] In November 1999, the Sound Transit Board instead selected an at-grade alignment on Martin Luther King Jr. Way to the west of Rainier, with a station at South Edmunds Street. [23]

Sound Transit awarded a $128 million contract to the joint venture of Robinson Construction and Herzog Contracting (forming RCI-Herzog) in February 2004 for construction of the Rainier Valley segment of Central Link (now Line 1). [24] Construction began later that year, with early work on Martin Luther King Jr. Way primarily consisting of utility relocation, property condemnation and reconstruction of the roadway. [25] Station construction at the Edmunds Street station, since renamed Columbia City, [26] began in September 2006 and was completed in 2008. [27] Light rail test trains began running through the Rainier Valley in August 2008, with service expected to start in July 2009. [28]

The station was opened on July 18, 2009, on the first day of Central Link service from Downtown Seattle to Tukwila International Boulevard station. [29] Local businesses celebrated the arrival of light rail by offering discounts and free samples to patrons with light rail tickets. [30]

Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound Line 1 toward University of Washington (Mount Baker)
Southbound Line 1 toward Angle Lake (Othello)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

Columbia City station consists of two at-grade side platforms in the median of Martin Luther King Jr. Way between Edmunds and Alaska streets. The station is accessible from crosswalks at both streets, with the platforms running the entire length between the two. At both of the station's entrances are ticket vending machines and an ORCA card reader beyond that lies the partially covered platform and waiting area, which includes seating and public art. [31] The station, like others in the Rainier Valley, was designed by architecture firm Arai/Jackson, and incorporates references to Craftsman-style homes that populate the neighborhood. [32] [33]

To the east of the station's south entrance on Edmunds Street is a small public plaza with landscaping, seating, and bicycle amenities. The station's "bike plaza" was opened in November 2011, with 46 secure lockers for bicycles. [34]

Art Edit

Columbia City station also houses four art installations as part of the "STart" program, which allocates a percentage of project construction funds to art projects to be used in stations. [35] The main theme of the station is gardening, reflected in three of the four sculptures. [36]

The most prominent piece at the station is Victoria Fuller's "Global Garden Shovel", a 35-foot-tall (11 m) bronze sculpture of a shovel at the northwest corner of MLK Jr. Way and Alaska Street. The shovel's surface is cast from molds of indigenous plants, fruits and vegetables from around the world Fuller drew inspiration from the number of home gardens she saw in the Rainier Valley and sought to represent the neighborhood's cultural and racial diversity. [37] Gale McCall's "A Relic in the Garden" consists of two large magnifying glasses in the planter boxes on the side of the station platforms, and four bronze baskets at the station's entrances that are illuminated at night. The magnifying glasses have open lenses that are filled with outlines of flowers, guarden faucets, baseball bats, and other "relics". [36] [38] [39]

At the station's public plaza at South Edmunds Street, two installations from Juan Alonso and Norie Sato create an enclosure of the public space. Sato's "Pride" consists of stone, bricks and bronze lions, in the style of various cultures, that were placed to guard the plaza's entrances. Alonso's "Garden Windows" is on the back wall of a systems building and consists of several glass windows in the brick wall, with abstract depictions of circulatory systems found in the human body, plants and the Interstate highways. [36] [38]

The station's pictogram, a dove, references the constellation Columba (named for the dove in Latin). It was created by Christian French as part of the Stellar Connections series and its points represent nearby destinations, including Columbia Park, the Columbia City Library, Rainier Valley Cultural Center, Ark Lodge, and Orca K-8 School. [40] [41]

Columbia City station is part of Sound Transit's Line 1, which runs from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport through the Rainier Valley and Downtown Seattle to the University of Washington. It is the fifth northbound station from Angle Lake and eleventh southbound station from University of Washington, and is situated between Othello and Mount Baker stations. Line 1 trains serve Columbia City twenty hours a day on weekdays and Saturdays, from 5:00 am to 1:00 am, and eighteen hours on Sundays, from 6:00 am to 12:00 am during regular weekday service, trains operate roughly every six to ten minutes during rush hour and midday operation, respectively, with longer headways of fifteen minutes in the early morning and twenty minutes at night. During weekends, Line 1 trains arrive at Columbia City station every ten minutes during midday hours and every fifteen minutes during mornings and evenings. The station is approximately 19 minutes from SeaTac/Airport station and 19 minutes from Westlake station in Downtown Seattle. [42] [43] In 2019, an average of 2,888 passengers boarded Link trains at Columbia City station on weekdays. [1]

Columbia City station is also served by two bus routes operated by King County Metro that use bus stops adjacent to the station: Route 38 provides local, frequent-stop service on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South between Route 50 travels east–west between West Seattle, SoDo, Columbia City, Seward Park and Othello station [44] and Route 106 provides local, frequent-stop service on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South between Rainier Beach and Mount Baker stations, while also serving the International District, Skyway and Renton. [45] [46] Prior to March 2016, route 8 served the Martin Luther King Jr. Way corridor, connecting Columbia City station to the Central District, Capitol Hill, and Lower Queen Anne. [47] [48]

Metro also runs the Route 97 Link Shuttle, a shuttle service serving Link stations along surface streets during Link service disruptions, between Downtown and Rainier Valley stations. [49] During the annual Seafair, free shuttle buses are used between Columbia City station and hydroplane races on Lake Washington at Genesee Park. [50]


Ste. Genevieve was established in the 1750s by French colonists, when the territory west of the Mississippi River was part of French Louisiana. It became the principle civic center of the region, and continued to be so when the area passed into Spanish control with the Treaty of Paris in 1763. The original site of Ste. Genevieve, about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the present city, was severely damaged by major flooding in 1785. After this event, the city was, over the next ten years, relocated to its present site on higher ground. The oldest surviving buildings in the city date to this period, with the church moved from its old site in 1793. The agricultural area just outside the city to the southeast is largely still laid out as it was at that time, following traditional French colonial lines. [7]

Americans began to arrive in Ste. Genevieve after the Louisiana Purchase in 1810, and were followed by immigrant groups as the 19th century progressed. By the mid-19th century German-Americans made up the single largest population group in the city. Late in the 19th century, the manufacture of lime became a major local industry, and in 1904 the city became the western end of a railroad ferry, connecting to Kellogg, Illinois. [5]

The importance of Ste. Genevieve's early architecture has long been recognized. In the 1930s a number of its builds were documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), and the Bolduc House was restored in 1956-57. The National Park Service conducted a historic site survey of the region in 1960, leading to the designation of the National Historic Landmark District, one of the first to be made. A survey by the Park Service in 1980 identified the location of Ste. Genevieve's early settlement on the Mississippi floodplain, which had long been thought to be lost to floodwaters. The state has stepped in to acquire several of the older buildings for preservation and interpretation as historic sites. [7]

The landmark designation as made in 1960 was short on details and exact boundaries. In 1970, the designation was amended to set a boundary, encompassing about 1,200 acres (490 ha), including much of the town and river bottomlands that reflected French colonial land-use methods. Repeated attempts to further update the landmark designation, including an explicit enumeration of contributing and non-contributing properties, have been made (in 1975, 1986, and 2001), but none of these have passed review. As part of the 2001 work, a separate National Register nomination was prepared, approved in 2002 by the Park Service, that focused on the area's broader historical patterns. Its boundaries exclude the outlying agricultural areas. The park service has been developing plans for a potential national historical park based on Ste. Genevieve's history and architecture. [7]

On March 23, 2018, the National Park Service was authorized to establish Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park, when President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriates bill which contained a single line about the park in its 2,232 pages. [8]

District of Columbia (75)

Abbe, Cleveland, House - 05/15/75

Washington, District of Columbia

Administration Building, Carnegie Institution of Washington - 06/23/65

Washington, District of Columbia

American Federation of Labor Building - 05/30/74

Washington, District of Columbia

American Peace Society - 05/30/74

Washington, District of Columbia

Anderson House - 06/19/96

Washington, District of Columbia

Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall, Founders Library - 01/03/01

Arts and Industries Building, Smithsonian Institution - 11/11/71

Washington, District of Columbia

Ashburton House - 11/07/73

Baker, Newton D., House - 12/08/76

Blair House - 10/26/73

Washington, District of Columbia

Borah, William E., Apartment, Windsor Lodge - 12/08/76

Washington, District of Columbia

Bruce, Blanche K., House - 05/15/75

Washington, District of Columbia

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - 05/30/74

Washington, District of Columbia

Cary, Mary Ann Shadd, House - 12/08/76

Washington, District of Columbia

City Hall/D.C. Courthouse - 12/19/60

Washington, District of Columbia

Congressional Cemetery - 06/14/11

Washington, District of Columbia

Constitution Hall - 09/16/85

Corcoran Gallery and School of Art - 04/27/92

Washington, District of Columbia

Coues, Elliot, House - 05/15/75

Washington, District of Columbia

Decatur House - 12/19/60

Washington, District of Columbia

Franklin School - 06/19/96

Washington, District of Columbia

Gallaudet College Historic District - 12/21/65

Washington, District of Columbia

General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters - 12/04/91

Washington, District of Columbia

General Post Office - 11/11/71

Washington, District of Columbia

George town Historic District - 05/28/67

Washington, District of Columbia

Gompers, Samuel, House - 05/30/74

Grimke, Charlotte Forten, House - 05/11/76

Healy Hall, Georgetown University - 12/23/87

Howard, General Oliver Otis, House - 05/30/74

Hughes, Charles Evans, House - 11/28/72

Johnson, Hiram W., House - 12/08/76

Lafayette Building - 09/01/05

Lafayette Square Historic District - 09/06/70

Library of Congress - 12/21/65

Mellon, Andrew, Building - 05/11/76

Memorial Continental Hall - 11/28/72

Meridian Hill Park - 04/19/94

National Training School for Women and Girls - 07/17/91

Washington, District of Columbia

National War College - 11/28/72

Octagon House - 12/19/60

Washington, District of Columbia

Old Naval Observatory - 01/12/65

Washington, District of Columbia

Old Patent Office - 01/12/65

Washington, District of Columbia

Pan American Union Headquarters - 1/13/2021

Washington, District of Columbia

Pension Building - 02/04/85

Washington, District of Columbia

Perkins, Francis, House - 07/17/91

Washington, District of Columbia

Philadelphia (Gundelo) - 01/20/61

Washington, District of Columbia

Renwick Gallery - 11/11/71

Richards, Zalmon, House - 12/21/65

St. Elizabeths Hospital - 12/14/90

St. John's Church - 12/19/60

St. Luke's Episcopal Church - 05/11/76

Sequoia (Presidential Yacht) Relocated from Virginia - 12/23/87

Sewall-Belmont House - 05/30/74

Sousa, John Philip, Junior High School - 08/07/01

Smithsonian Institution Building - 01/12/65

State, War, and Navy Building- 11/11/71

Supreme Court Building - 05/04/87

Terrell, Mary Church, House - 05/15/75

Tudor Place - 12/19/60

Twelfth Street YMCA Building - 10/12/94

Underwood, Oscar W., House - 12/08/76

United Mine Workers of America Building - 04/05/05

Washington, District of Columbia

United States Capitol - 12/19/60

Washington, District of Columbia

United States Department of the Treasury - 11/11/71

Washington, District of Columbia

United States Marine Corps Barracks and Commandant's House - 05/11/76

Washington, District of Columbia

United States Soldier's Home - 11/07/73

Washington, District of Columbia

Volta Bureau - 11/28/72

Washington, District of Columbia

Washington Aqueduct (also in Maryland) - 11/07/73

Great Falls, Montgomery County, Maryland
Dalecarlia Reservoir, Washington, District of Columbia

Washington Navy Yard - 05/11/76

Washington, District of Columbia

White, David, House - 01/07/76

Washington, District of Columbia

White House - 12/19/60

Washington, District of Columbia

Wilson, Woodrow, House - 07/19/64

Washington, District of Columbia

Woodson, Carter G., House - 05/11/76

Washington, District of Columbia

Woodward, Robert Simpson, House - 01/07/76

Washington, District of Columbia

The Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court sided with Heller by a 5-4 majority, affirming the appeals court’s decision. Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the court’s opinion and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., and justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Jr. Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer dissented.

The court ruled that the District of Columbia must give Heller a license to possess a handgun inside his home. In the process, the court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms and that the district’s handgun ban and trigger lock requirement violated the Second Amendment.

The court’s decision did not prohibit many existing federal limitations to gun ownership, including limitations for convicted felons and the mentally ill. It didn't affect limitations preventing the possession of firearms in schools and government buildings.