The Washington Neighborhood is one of Dubuque’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods, covers 55 square blocks and is home to 1,900 residents. The neighborhood’s first residents were German and Irish immigrant families who found work in the manufacturing and industrial factories that were once an integral part of the neighborhood fabric. The neighborhood is in the center of Dubuque’s urban core and borders the Historic Millwork District, Bee Branch and North End District and Downtown. The Washington neighborhood has many historically significant residential and commercial structures. Eighty-six percent of the properties were built prior to 1939; many of the buildings date to the 1880’s and 1890’s. Exterior architecture on these older building remain basically intact; however, the age of the housing and commercial stock creates challenges for maintenance and property values.
The Washington Neighborhood has been a major focus for reinvestment efforts by the City of Dubuque since 2005. Its historic architecture, central location and wide range of housing stock provide key assets to build upon. Challenges of housing and building conditions, a concentration of distressed properties and a need for education, services and training have required a coordinated effort between the City, local businesses and investors.
From 2005 to 2012, the City has invested $9 million in the Washington Neighborhood, leveraging over $12 million in private investment and over $13 million in other government investments.
In 2009, Teska Associates led a Washington Neighborhood planning process for the City of Dubuque. The resulting plan, entitled “Community Assessment and Revitalization Strategies,” included a market analysis, land use plan, transportation and human service strategies, all with the aim of accelerating the improvement of the Washington Neighborhood. This effort is being spearheaded by the Washington Neighborhood Development Corporation whose mission is to “empower people and revitalize the neighborhood by leveraging public and private resources to promote housing, economic opportunity and human potential”.
Washington Neighborhood Development Corporation
The Purpose of WNDC is to connect people and resources and be a catalyst for a thriving, prosperous and attractive Washington neighborhood.
“The Washington Neighborhood is a socially vibrant, inviting downtown community that offers economic opportunity, friendly and diverse residents, historic housing – a rediscovered treasured and integral part of Dubuque with its own unique urban identity."
Community Assessment and Revitalization Strategies Plan
Teska Associates worked with the City of Dubuque to develop the "Community Assessment and Revitalization Strategies" plan which included market analysis, land use plan, and transportation and human services strategies.