Preserved & Developed: Arlington Hardware

Preserved & Developed: Arlington Hardware

Preserved & Developed is a weekly series of articles by Preservation Arlington highlighting local development projects that have involved both development of a site and preservation of historic resources. The projects highlight a wide range of challenges and solutions over many years. At the time they were completed the projects represented a commitment by the developer and the community to embrace the future and preserve the past. Preservation Arlington is awarding each project a gold, silver, or bronze star based on the extent to which the project protected historic resources within its particular constraints. silver-star

Historic preservation is an important component of Form Based Code, the guiding document for much of South Arlington’s main street — Columbia Pike. Form Based Code documents determine which structures should be designated as Historic Buildings and which should be deemed Historic Facades. The Arlington Hardware store at 2922 Columbia Pike was originally classified as a Historic Building with both interior and exterior details worthy of preservation.

After additional review, the County, with support from HALRB, reclassified Arlington Hardware as a Historic Facade, since a fire in 1997 had caused substantial interior damage and resulted in an essentially new interior. The exterior, however, was intact and still represented the days of the neighborhood hardware store with both its building materials and signage.ArlHardware1

In 2004, the Columbia Station redevelopment was proposed — the first project to come forward under Arlington County’s then-new Form Based Code. Since the site was zoned “C-2” Service Commercial – Community Business Districts, it could be developed using the “CP-FBC” Columbia Pike Form Based Code District. This site is also located within the Columbia Pike Special Revitalization District, which allows for modifications for building height, building placement, and streetscape details. The resulting development is a 257-unit residential building with over 40,000 sf of ground-floor retail.

As part of the proposal, the applicant agreed to preserve the existing façade and incorporate it into the new building. This stretch of Columbia Pike is the historic center of commerce. Maintaining the building line and style is a key component for providing a sense of scale and place for this growing business corridor. ArlHardware2

One thought on “Preserved & Developed: Arlington Hardware

  1. After my family moved away from 1500 Key Blvd. (an address which no longer exists), we moved to a house my parents bought near Columbia Pike and Glebe Rd. I shopped at Arlington Hardware. Thanks for preserving it! The low white building in the top photo used to be the Gondolier Restaurant.

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