On Saturday, April 18, the Arlington County Board will consider designation of a Local Historic District for the Fort Myer Heights School (1910 section of the Wilson School) and a portion of the property, located at 1601 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington’s HALRB (Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board) had recommended designation of just the 1910 building and portions of the front lawn. The Planning Commission voted 5-4 in support of the staff recommendation to deny the designation and 6-3 to support the recommendation that County Historic Preservation Staff, Arlington Public Schools and HALRB look for ways to commemorate the story of Wilson School.
The staff recommendation, available here, for the County Board hearing remains the same — which is to deny the designation and support ways to commemorate the story of Wilson School.
This is item #35 on the County Board Agenda for Saturday (Items 1-34 are on consent). The item could be heard as early as 9 AM. Preservation Arlington is asking community members to either submit written testimony or to speak in person at the hearing. To contact the County Board on this topic (Agenda Item #35), write them at Countyboard@arlingtonva.us. Information on speaking at the board hearing is available online.
Preservation Arlington is disappointed in the staff recommendation to deny the designation. Wilson School is the oldest continuously operating school building still owned by the County. The history of the school is directly connected to our early years as a growing community and a time when we were visited by the President of the United States, which still happens today.
Preservation of the school is also a teachable moment for Virginia history, U.S. history, environmental issues and stewardship of local landmarks. For a community proud of its planning credentials, it is discouraging that creative solutions for retaining the school aren’t even being considered.
Please write or plan to speak. Thank you.
Hearing time and location:
Arlington County Board
April 18, 8:30 AM
2100 Clarendon Blvd.