LOST: April 2015

LOST: April 2015

In April 2015, a total of eighteen (18) demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Seventeen (17) were for single-family homes and one was for a major site redevelopment in the Pentagon City area.

North Arlington accounted for all 17 of the residential permits while South Arlington accounted for the commercial permit. Five of the properties are in National Register Historic Districts: three in the Cherrydale National Register Historic District (1814 North Oakland Street, 1904 North Quebec Street and 2021 North Stafford Street); one in the Ashton Heights National Register Historic District (811 North Ivy Street); and one in the Overlee Knolls/Fostoria National Register Historic District (1420 North Nicholas Street). At least 12 of the 17 single-family demolition permits were for speculative developments.

Totals for 2015
Homes: 70
– 17 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 45 are speculative developments (owned by developers)

Commercial buildings: 2

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.


One thought on “LOST: April 2015

  1. Thanks so much for highlighting this. As Arlington homeowners for 25 years, on the same (non-historic district) street as one of the properties highlighted, my husband and I are constantly having the conversation about what will happen to our house after it becomes the last 3BR rambler on the street. With the substantial addition of living space we did 10 years ago, we think it might have a role in keeping some housing stock in the neighborhood for less than $1mil.

    We get letters all the time from developers who want to make us an offer. But what happens when our elderly neighbor on the corner is gone and her unimproved house with its tiny lot is sold to a developer? That’s when I expect not a letter but a personal visit by someone who will want to knock down both our houses and coordinate the building of two new ones with better spacing than they have now. Is there an offer we won’t be able to refuse?

    Right now, we’re seriously considering whether we’re going to be in this house another 5 years or another 20; quite a few maintenance and repair decisions will hinge on that. Because I love where we live, I personally lean toward 20. For that reason, I have supported the establishment of Arlington Neighborhood Villages (http://www.arlnvil.org), and we joined last year as inaugural associate members. Even though we don’t need services now, I think the village concept has a lot to offer Arlingtonians who want to remain in their homes and continue to enjoy our wonderful neighborhoods.

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