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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT Files, n.d.
Fairmount Heights Historic District
Inventory No.: PG:72-9
Date Listed: 11/18/2011
Location: Capitol Heights, Prince Georges County
Category: District
Period/Date of Construction: 1900-1960
Description: The Fairmount Heights Historic District is a 20th-century residential suburb located in western Prince George's County, clustered around the eastern corner of the District of Columbia, and surrounded by mixed residential, commercial, and industrial uses. The historic district consists of approximately 558 properties constructed in six subdivisions on approximately 144 acres of land between 1900 and 2010. The terrain in and around Fairmount Heights is sloped. The majority of properties are single-family dwellings that were constructed between 1900 and 1960. Dwelling types common the subdivision include two-story gable-front and shed-roof dwellings with narrow footprints, bungalows, and small one- and one-and-one-half-story side-gable and gable-front dwellings. Overall, stylistic detailing is minimal and includes features of the Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and Tudor styles. In addition to dwellings, the community retains a school, five churches, a commemorative marker, and a social hall. Significance: The Fairmount Heights Historic District is historically significant in the areas of community planning and development, ethnic heritage, and politics and government, as outlined in the African-American Historic Resources of Prince George's County, Maryland Multiple Property Documentation Form. Fairmount Heights is among the earliest planned communities for African Americans in the Washington, D.C. area. The layout, dwelling types, and construction methods found in the community illustrate patterns typical of early-20th-century African-American residential suburbs. Successful endeavors of the town's citizens, including the erection of a town hall in 1908 and the construction of the first African-American public elementary school in Prince George's County in 1912, are illustrative of successful efforts at self government. The town retains five churches, a community hall, and school that served as social and political centers for the area during segregation. The community was a center of political activism and progressivism throughout the early 20th century, with regular features in local African-American newspapers. During this period, Fairmount Heights was also the home of several notable African Americans who made significant political and social contributions to the town and Prince George's County. The extant residential buildings and community institutions reflect the continued growth of the community through the mid-20th century. To the present, Fairmount Heights is a thriving residential community.
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