Brookland has always been a middle-class community offering families a secure, neighborly home. Originally the farm of Colonial Jehiel Brooks, the area developed as an early suburb northeast of downtown Washington following his death in 1886. Although early Brookland was mostly white—and mostly segregated in work, play and society—it always had black residents, many leaders in their field. When the Catholic University of America was established in the area in 1885, the numerous study houses, monasteries and convents that chose to locate nearby inspired the place name “Little Rome.” This stroll along Brookland’s tree-lined streets includes:
- The original Jehiel Brooks mansion;
- The former home of Sterling Brown, considered the “Dean of African American Poets”;
- 12th Street--Brookland’s “Main Street”--which retains its 1920s look and feel;
- The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, home to beautiful gardens, an impressive Byzantine-style church, and replicas of Christian pilgrimage sites in Israel.
At the monastery, participants can opt to either stay on for a docent-led tour of the church (or simply stay to explore on the building and grounds on their own) or discover a few more neighborhood sites with the guide and concluding back at the walk start point.
"A good tour. Very interesting, especially the opportunity to learn about a part of the city I knew nothing about." - Goldstar reviewer
Out of an abundance of caution in regard to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Washington Walks will not be offering walking tours in 2020.
$20 per person (kids 3 and younger free). $5 discount with U.S. military or federal government ID. Pay in advance or with cash or a credit card when you arrive.