According to their website, the neighborhood goes from Florida Ave on the south to Spring Rd on the north, and 16th on the west to Georgia on the east. However, on the South Columbia Heights listserve posting, they say it's from Florida to Park Rd and 14th east to 4th and Warder Street. Either definition includes basically all of what is usually considered south Columbia Heights. But on Wikipedia page, it says its western boundary is Sherman Ave, meaning 16th to Sherman is not included. That makes more sense to me.
I emailed Pleasant Plains Civic Association head Sylvia Robinson about the differences and how her group fits in with Columbia Heights and the South Columbia Heights Civic Association, and here's what she said:
I don't think there is overlap in the efforts in the Pleasant Plains network and the South Columbia Heights Community Assocation. Pleasant Plains is an old established neighborhood and we are making an effort to strengthen the resources of the neighborhood by giving a voice to its residents, businesses, youth, arts organizations, etc. and establishing communications to these groups about issues affecting neighborhood changes. It is also important to educate people about the neighborhood history and culture, which is different from Columbia Heights (visit www.ecacollective.org/trail for more info on the upcoming Heritage Trail). I am aware that the city has blurred the lines between the two neighborhoods over time and extended Columbia Heights to Georgia Avenue but I believe this has been because the residents of Pleasant Plains did not have a strong enough voice in this process.Regarding the boundary issues, she CCed Darren Jones, who had this to say:
There is lots of overlap in the boundaries of the civic associations. Pleasant Plains was established in 1921 and has met faithfully since then. The boundaries during its founding were 4th and Warder Streets on the east; 16th Street on the west; Spring Road on the north; and Florida Avenue on the east.He noted the South Columbia Heights Civic Association was founded in 2006.
Now I've heard of Pleasant Plains before, but it's not used very much; to me it's kind of like Lanier Heights or Reed-Cooke: the neighborhood name exists but most people just call it by some more well-known name (Adams Morgan in those cases). The only place I've seen it written in the area is this sign above at Georgia and Irving. IntangibleArts, the photographer, said the sign popped up one day in 2007.
I told Sylvia and Darren that I think most people see the area between 16th and Georgia as Columbia Heights, and Sylvia responded:
There may be a lot of people who do [think that]- understandably since realtors could sell quicker if they said their properties were in Columbia Heights, but they are in fact living in Pleasant Plains. A quick look at the deeds on their property will verify this.However, the city's tax assessment data seems to show the whole area as Columbia Heights.
You could make the argument that the eastern part of the neighborhood does need its own name, as east of Georgia it's sort far to be called Columbia Heights -- like Park View on the north and Pleasant Plains on the south. However, I wouldn't include anything from Georgia to 16th as that neighborhood, since that's pretty well-established as Columbia Heights. The Wikipedia definition, which I'm pretty sure is taken from the city, seems pretty good. Your thoughts?
UPDATE: Forgot to include an article on Pleasant Plains that Robinson sent me.
UPDATE: Here's a map showing the boundaries of Pleasant Plains from the three places above:
Red = Pleasant Plains website
Blue = post by Pleasant Plains presz on South Columbia Heights listserve
Green = Wikipedia.
View Columbia Heights vs Pleasant Plains in a larger map
Sign photo by IntangibleArts