In December 2014, a total of 15 demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Fourteen were for single-family homes and one was for a major commercial building.
North Arlington accounted for 12 of the permits and South Arlington had two of the permits. Five of the properties are in National Register Historic Districts. Two of the homes are in the Lyon Village National Register Historic District (2711 Key Boulevard and 1717 North Wayne Street), with one each in the Cherrydale National Register Historic District (2010 North Stafford Street), Ashton Heights National Register Historic District (3610 10th Road), and Lyon Park National Register Historic District (3010 7th Street North). At least eight of the 14 single-family demolition permits are for speculative developments.
Totals for 2014
– 40 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 118 are speculative developments (owned by developers)
Commercial buildings: 17
The December permit applications bring to a close the proposed giveaway of a free historic bungalow in Arlington, which received great national and international coverage. Building code regulations and transportation constraints combined to make this financially infeasible.
We are also saddened to see the 1000 North Glebe Road demolition permit. Featured on our 2013 Endangered List, this building is from a design era that is being appreciated more and more across the country. It is one of a handful of exciting mid-century buildings in Arlington that provide a distinctive sense of place that cannot be replaced or replicated.
In calendar year 2014, a total of 196 demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Of these, 179 (91%) were for the demolition of single-family homes. This exactly matches the number and composition of demolitions from 2013. In previous years, the number of demolition permit applications for single-family homes were: 179 (2013), 124 (2012), 127 (2011), 93 (2010), and 86 (2009). In the past five years, just over 700 demolition permits for single-family homes were applied for in Arlington County.
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.