In September 2014 a total of twenty-one (21) demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Seven were for single-family homes. Four were for a set of low-rise commercial buildings. The remaining permits were re-applications or for the demolition of secondary buildings (garage/shed).
North Arlington accounted for all of the permits — both commercial and residential. Two of the homes are in the Highland Park/Overlee Knolls (Fostoria) National Register Historic District (2106 North Potomac Street and 6235 21st Street North). Four of the single-family permits are for speculative developments.
The commercial buildings being demolished are part of a County approved site plan for redevelopment of that site.
Totals for 2014
– 25 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 81 are speculative developments (owned by developers)
Commercial buildings: 16
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.