The city is named for its founder, Christopher Clark Hyatt (1799–1884), who purchased his first parcel of land in the area in 1845. Hyatt opened a store and began mail delivery, officially naming the nascent community “Hyattsville” in his 1859 application to become postmaster. The community’s location at the intersection of the Washington and Baltimore Turnpike (modern-day US 1) and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line made the land attractive for development. In the years following the Civil War, Hyatt and other local landowners subdivided their properties and sold lots, and the population of Hyattsville grew. Hyattsville was incorporated as a city on April 7, 1886. The historic district of the city is home to a number of Victorian houses built in the late 1880s and Sears bungalows and Arts & Crafts houses built between the wars (late 1910s and early 1940s). Historic Hyattsville is roughly bounded by East-West Highway to the north; Route 1 to the east; the 38th Street Neighborhood Park to the south, and Queens Chapel Road to the west.
The City of Hyattsville consists of six subdivisions; Hyattsville Hills, Downtown Hyattsville, Kirkwood, Queens Chapel Manor, Castle Manor, and University Hills. Historic Hyattsville reportedly consists of the Hyattsville Hills, Downtown Hyattsville, and Castle Manor subdivisions. The city has undergone a major redevelopment over the last decade, including residential and retail development in the Arts District Hyattsville private development (located in the Gateway Arts District), and the area surrounding Prince George’s Plaza. One new major development was the University Town Center, which is located across Belcrest Road from The Mall at Prince Georges. It was opened at the beginning of the year of 2007. UTC contains residential condos, student housing, office buildings, a public plaza, and retail space, including a 14-screen movie theater and several restaurants. The location is popular with university students, due to its close proximity to the University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland, University College, and Prince George’s Community College. There is also a bus stop located just outside the residential apartments, which services not only local county and city transit systems, but also several university shuttles, including the University of Maryland and Howard University. The National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, is headquartered in Hyattsville and located at University Town Center.
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