In May 2015, a total of twenty (20) demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Fifteen (15) are for single-family homes, two (2) are part for a major site redevelopment in the Courthouse area, and the remaining three (3) are for a detached garage (two are duplicate) and a swimming pool (4300 Old Dominion Drive).
South Arlington had two residential demolition permits while North Arlington accounted for 13 of the permits. Five of the properties are in National Register Historic Districts, one each in:
- Overlee Knolls/Fostoria National Register Historic District (5918 14th Street North),
- Aurora Highlands National Register Historic District (2500 South Fern Street),
- Arlington Forest National Register Historic District (234 North Galveston Street),
- Columbia Forest National Register Historic District (1106 South Emerson Street), and,
- Lyon Park National Register Historic District (2500 Washington Boulevard).
At least 7 of the 15 single-family demolition permits were for speculative developments.
Totals for 2015
– 22 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 52 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.