In June 2015, a total of twenty-nine (29) demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. All were for single-family homes. One was a resubmission. South Arlington had three of the residential demolition permits while North Arlington accounted for the remaining 26 permits. Five of the properties are in National Register Historic Districts, two in the Lyon Park National Register Historic District, (3010 7th Street North and 2809 2nd Road North) and one each in Overlee Knolls/Fostoria National Register Historic District (6229 18th Street North); Ashton Heights National Register Historic District (3215 1st Street North); and, Maywood National Register Historic District (2822 23rd Road North). At least 15 of the 29 single-family demolition permits were for speculative developments.
Totals for 2015
– 27 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 67 are speculative developments (owned by developers)
Commercial buildings: 2
In comparison, by year, of single-family home demolition permits:
middle of 2015: 118, up 8%
middle of 2014: 109, up 18%
middle of 2013: 92
This month also marks the demolition 3010 7th Street North, a Sears Catalog home which Preservation Arlington highlighted in December 2013 as a FREE HOUSE. Regional, national and international media coverage of this offer brought a great deal of attention to the home along with several potential takers. However, the cost of moving the house — relocating or raising phone and cable wires during the move or the cost of upgrading the home to new building code turned out to be prohibitive. Great try on everyone’s part.
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.