Lost: January 2015

Lost: January 2015

In January 2015, a total of 22 demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Twenty were for single-family homes and two were for a pair of garden-style apartment buildings on the edge of Ballston.

North Arlington accounted for 19 of the permits and South Arlington had three of the permits. Two of the properties are in National Register Historic Districts–one in the Aurora Highlands National Register Historic District (912 22nd Street South) and the other in the Ashton Heights National Register Historic District (3515 7th Street North). At least 13 of the 21 single-family demolition permits are for speculative developments.

Totals for 2015

Homes: 22
– 2 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 13 are speculative developments (owned by developers)

Commercial buildings: 0

The January permits include an 1890s farmhouse on 1.25 acres that is being redeveloped and could include up to six new homes (2805 North Lexington, sold for $3.8 million); a 1930s bungalow in Barcroft on a site that can accommodate three new homes (408 South Taylor Street, sold for $1.275 million); a collection of four 1950s homes on Yorktown Boulevard that have been semi-abandoned for years (2700-2712 North Buchanan Street, sold for $3 million); and houses in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood that could be redeveloped with multiple new homes (1819 South Arlington Ridge Road, sold for $1.55 million, and 912 22nd Street South, sold for $650,000). These are substantial purchases by home builders.

Totals for 2014

Homes: 179
– 40 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 118 are speculative developments (owned by developers)

Commercial buildings: 17

With our year-end numbers, Preservation Arlington received some questions about our data and how it correlated with data from Arlington County. Preservation Arlington bases our reports on when the demolition permit has been submitted, while Arlington County reports once the demolition permit has been issued and the new house has been completed. This provides a slight time adjustment. After talking with County research staff on this topic both parties are comfortable that our differing approaches are statistically insignificant.

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.


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