In May 2014 a total of 22 demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County, 21 of which were for single-family homes and one for a commercial demolition.
Of the 21 new demolition permits, two were re-issues. Of the remaining 19 permits, all were in North Arlington. Three of the homes are in the Cherrydale National Register Historic District (4011 17th Street North, 4300 18th Street North, and 1805 North Monroe Street). At least 50% (and possibly 75%) of the permits appear to be speculative developments by investors.
One of the homes, 3856 North Glebe Road, was featured in our FOR SALE column in November. After sitting vacant and unattended for years, the house needed prohibitively expensive updates and repairs, according to people familiar with the proposal.
The commercial building slated for demolition is part of a county-approved site plan for Central Place in Rosslyn.
Cumulative demolition total for 2014:
– 14 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 45 are speculative developments
Commercial buildings: 5
The looming demolition of these houses and buildings represents an incredible loss of history, architecture, time, energy, and materials. Many had the potential for renovation and additions or, at a bare minimum, reclamation/reuse of building materials. These buildings are often replaced with new construction that is out of scale and proportion to the community. Preservation Arlington urges citizens to adopt Local Historic District designations for their communities, with standards for design, height, and placement that could be customized to reflect community needs while still allowing reinvestment to occur.
Similarly, if you are a property owner and are contemplating a change to your property, Preservation Arlington encourages you to work with your architect or builder to consider how some or all of your house or building could be incorporated into a renovation, or the materials reused.