Petworth was the name of the 205-section of land nation domain of John Tayloe III, likely named for the old town in West Sussex, England. The domain was passed on to his child Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, situated at the upper east corner of seventh Street Pike (later known as Brightwood Avenue, presently Georgia Avenue) and Rock Creek Church Road. In 1887, it was sold by Tayloe’s beneficiaries to designers for $107,000. In 1889, designers enrolled “Petworth” with the District surveyor as a 387-section of the land plat of subdivision containing the previous Tayloe bequest and the Marshal Brown home. In 1893, extra land arrangements framed “West Petworth,” from land west of Brightwood Avenue, including the Ruppert Farm, which was sold for $142,680, the 20-section of land Burnaby track, and a 14-section of land property known as Poor Tom’s Last Shaft. In 1900, Henry J. Ruppert sold an extra 31.7 sections of land west of Brightwood and Iowa Avenues and south of Utica Street (presently Allison Street)to the District for a proposed civil medical clinic.
In the mid-1900s, the development of a streetcar line along Georgia Avenue to the fringe of Silver Spring, Maryland, made Petworth increasingly open.
A significant number of the great many comparable block column houses in the area were built by Morris Cafritz and by D.J. Dunigan Company during the 1920s–1930s. Dunigan gave the land that turned into the site for St. Gabriel’s Church and School alongside Grant Circle.