Eighth Street, SE, also known as Barracks Row, was the first commercial center in Washington DC because of a natural harbor in the Anacostia River named St. Thomas Bay. In 1799, the Navy Yard located next to that harbor, and in 1801, Thomas Jefferson selected the site of 8th and I Streets as the first post for the Marine Corps because of its close proximity to the Navy Yard and U.S. Capitol, in case it needed protecting. The Commandant of the Marine Corps still resides in the Home of the Commandants, Washington’s longest-inhabited residence.
The mission of Barracks Row Main Street is to revitalize 8th Street SE as a vibrant commercial corridor reconnecting Capitol Hill to the Anacostia River using historic preservation and the arts as economic development tools and benefiting the broadest possible local community.
Barracks Row Main Street is a designated DC Main Streets commercial district, and is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development. BRMS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.